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Risk of Malaria According to Geographic Region

Your risk of getting malaria depends on where you are traveling. The most accurate information about the risk of malaria in specific countries is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • The risk is highest in sub-Saharan Africa, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America.
  • The risk is medium in Haiti and the Indian subcontinent.
  • The risk is low in most of Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Malaria infections caused by certain parasites are more common in some areas of the world.

Recommended Related to Food Poisoning

Understanding Food Poisoning -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Most cases of food poisoning are mild, lasting from one to three days. Since many people do not seek medical care, their food poisoning is not diagnosed.  Though your symptoms may sound suspicious, the only way to know for sure if you have food poisoning is to test the offending food or check the stool, blood, or vomit.  Chemical or toxin food poisoning can usually be diagnosed by a description of symptoms and by testing food potentially responsible for the poisoning.  

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  • Plasmodium (P.) falciparum is found throughout the world in tropical and subtropical areas. It causes the most severe form of malaria.
  • P. vivax and P. malariae are found mainly in Asia, Latin America, and in some parts of Africa. These parasites cause a less severe form of malaria that rarely leads to death.
  • P. ovale is found in West Africa, the Philippines, some parts of Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It also causes a less severe form of malaria.
  • P. knowlesi is found in Southeast Asia. It can cause a serious type of malaria that may lead to death.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised April 20, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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