Malaria is a parasitic disease that spreads between humans through the bite of infected female anopheles mosquitoes.
Once the parasite enters the human bloodstream, it invades the liver and then the red blood cells. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, sweats, chills and vomiting, and at this stage, the immune system usually fights and controls the infection.
If malaria is severe, the parasite disrupts the blood supply to vital organs, including the brain, causing seizures, coma and death.
A decade ago, 65% of all infections were caused by P vivax and 35% by P falciparum two decades ago. Now the ratio is reversed (see box).
The P falciparum parasite causes the more deadly cerebral malaria that, when untreated, may lead to loss of consciousness and even coma. It’s responsible for 99% malaria deaths worldwide.
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is providing remote-sensing technology to detect, map and classify mosquito breeding areas in the country for India’s war against the mosquito-borne disease that is believed to have killed an estimated 24,000 people in the country in 2015