What causes Malaria?

Malaria is spread when an infected Anopheles mosquito bites a person. This is the only type of mosquito that can spread malaria. The mosquito becomes infected by biting an infected person and drawing blood that contains the parasite. When that mosquito bites another person, that person becomes infected.

Malaria is caused by a type of microscopic parasite that's transmitted most commonly by mosquito bites.

Mosquito transmission cycle

Uninfected mosquito.

A mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person who has malaria.

Transmission of parasite. 

If you're the next person this mosquito bites, it can transmit malaria parasites to you.
In the liver.

The parasites then travel to your liver

where they can lie dormant for as long as a year.

Into the bloodstream. 

When the parasites mature, they leave the liver and infect your red blood cells. This is when people typically develop malaria symptoms.
 

On to the next person.

If an uninfected mosquito bites you at this point in the cycle, it will become infected with your malaria parasites and can spread them to the next person it bites.

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