Malaria is a serious illness that is transmitted by mosquitoes which is endemic in some parts of the world. There are five different strains of parasite which cause Malaria, the most deadly of which is Plasmodium Falciparum. Malaria is most often found in tropical areas where high rainfall and humidity creates stagnant pools of water which are ideal for mosquitoes to breed in. One of the biggest problems with Malaria is that poor countries can lack the funding and infrastructure to effectively prevent the disease (by use of insecticides and draining of standing water), while Malaria is a major factor in preventing economic development in these countries, which causes a cycle of poverty. These countries are increasingly using tourism as a source of funding, and Australian citizens are travelling to these areas.
Malaria causes a severe fever which is typically cyclic (resolving after a few days and then recurring) along with headache, shivering, painful joints and vomiting. These symptoms are caused by the parasite bursting red blood cells, which can then cause problems itself with the contents of these burst cells damaging organs. Malaria can cause permanent damage to the brain, eyes, lungs, heart, liver, spleen and kidneys. Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicates that in 2010, 3.4 million short trips were taken from Australia to countries other than New Zealand, North America or Europe. Many of these trips would be taken to areas with a high risk of malaria transmission.