Malaria Outbreaks

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Last reviewed
November 30, 2023
Content Overview
Malaria is vaccine preventable disease caused by parasites transmitted to people by mosquitoes in 2023.

Malaria Outbreaks 2023

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) World Malaria Report 2023, eleven countries have the highest rates of new infections and deaths. These countries saw an estimated 167 million malaria cases and 426,000 deaths in 2022. Updated in October 2023, the WHO Guidelines for Malaria bring together the Organization's most up-to-date recommendations for malaria in one user-friendly and easy-to-navigate online platform.

On September 7, 2023, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimated that approximately 41 million people are living in areas where the risk of infection by mosquito-carrying malaria is considered moderate to high in twenty-one Latin American countries. A study published by the Royal Society on February 15, 2023, indicates these mosquitoes gained an average of 6.5 meters (21 feet) of elevation per year, and the southern limits of their ranges moved south of the equator by 4.7 kilometers (nearly 3 miles) per year. The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation publishes estimates of malaria outbreak deaths.

Malaria Outbreaks USA

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued various outbreak alerts for malaria-endemic countries, including Costa Rica. The CDC published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on September 8, 2023, confirming eight cases of autochthonous malaria were reported by state health departments in Florida (seven) and Texas (one) from May 18–July 17, 2023. On August 6, 2023, the state of Maryland reported one local malaria case. On October 4, 2023, the Arkansas Department of Health announced it identified one case of locally acquired malaria in a Saline County resident who had not traveled out of the country. On June 23, 2023, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported one malaria case in Cameron County. These malaria cases have been identified as the P. vivax species of Malaria, which is not as fatal as other species. 

On June 26, 2023, the CDC issued Health Advisory   CDCHAN-00494 regarding malaria cases in Florida and Texas. The CDC publishes Malaria Information and Prophylaxis by Country (2021). The CDC received reports of 1,823 confirmed malaria cases with the onset of symptoms in 2018, including one cryptic case and one case acquired through a bone marrow transplant. Of imported malaria cases in the U.S., 59% were among persons who had traveled from Africa. The number of malaria cases reported in 2017 was the highest since 1972. In 2003, 8 cases of locally acquired P. vivax malaria were identified in Palm Beach County, FL.

Malaria Africa

The WHO says four African countries account for over 50% of all malaria deaths worldwide: Nigeria (31.3%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12.6%), the United Republic of Tanzania (4.1%), and Niger (3.9%). A study published by PLOS ONE on May 31, 2023, found 13 Sub-Saharan African countries' Malaria Indicator Surveys, the pooled prevalence of Malaria among children aged 6–59 months was found to be 27.41% (95% CI: 17.94%-36.88%) ranging from 5.04% in Senegal to 62.57% in Sierra Leone. On May 10, 2023, South Africa reported a significant increase in malaria cases in the endemic provinces and Gauteng. According to the 2022 World Malaria Report, Nigeria had the highest number of global malaria cases (27%) and the highest number of deaths (32%) in 2020. In addition, data from the 2018 Federal Republic of Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey show that malaria parasitemia in children was 23%.

Malaria The Americas

Eighteen countries, including one territory in the Region of the Americas, are currently at risk of malaria. In the Region of the Americas, between 2022 and 2023, Argentina, Bahamas, Jamaica, and the U.S. reported imported Malaria cases and local transmission. Brazil and Venezuela reported the most malaria cases in 2022. In the Americas, 520,000 cases of malaria and around 120 deaths were reported in 2021. Paraguay, Argentina, and El Salvador were certified malaria-free by WHO in 2018, 2019, and 2021, respectively. Additionally, Belize was certified malaria-free by WHO on June 21, 2023. The Costa Rica Health Surveillance Directorate of the Ministry of Health announced an increased risk of Malaria in Costa Rica, especially in coastal zones, in 2023.

Malaria India

In 2022, 50 people died of malaria across India. However, this was a drastic decrease from 2014, when 562 deaths were attributed to malaria. The National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016-2030 was launched in 2016, followed by the National Strategic Plan 2017-2022. According to the WMR 2019, India represents 3% of the global malaria burden. 

Malaria Mexico

On November 7, 2023, The Lancet published an article: The U.S.–Mexico border and falciparum malaria. The significant increase of malaria in a non-endemic region forces the medical community and health authorities of our country, as well as the increasing number of countries with high migratory flow, to provide technical assistance in local diagnostic laboratories to establish strategies for the detection of active malaria infections and expedite treatment by eliminating administrative barriers to comply with the guidelines set by WHO. In Mexico City, access to antimalarials is through the health jurisdiction, and diagnostic certainty is required to be provided. Diagnostic tests based on nucleic acids to detect Plasmodium antigens are unavailable, and the number of expert microscopists is found only in reference laboratories.

In November 2023, the Mexican state of Quintana Roo (Cancun) was awarded the 2023 PAHO Malaria Champions of the Americas prize for their sustained actions towards malaria elimination in the Region. The U.S. CDC recommends that travelers to certain areas of Mexico take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on your medication, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before, during, and after your trip.

Malaria South Korea

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, over 719 malaria cases were confirmed from January to mid-October 2023. This is the first time the number of annual malaria cases has topped 700 since 2011.

Malaria Vaccines 2023

Malaria vaccine information is posted at Precision Vaccinations.


Malaria is a curable disease caused by four species of protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale and is transmitted to people by Anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes can act as hosts to several microorganisms, including commensal bacterial species. Current methods can vastly overestimate the rates of malaria parasites multiplying in an infected person's blood, which has important implications for determining how harmful they could be to a host, according to a new report. Some candidate malaria vaccines act during a stage in the parasite's life cycle when it replicates in the blood, so knowing its multiplication rates is critical to evaluating a vaccine's efficacy. Parasite multiplication rates (PMRs) are often quantified in malaria infections, wrote researchers in June 2023. They illustrated how inflated PMRs arise from two facets of malaria biology that are far from unique: (i) some developmental ages are more accessible to sample than others; (ii) the distribution of developmental ages changes throughout infection. The difficulty of accurately quantifying PMRs demonstrates a need for robust methods and a subsequent re-evaluation of what is known, even in the well-studied malaria system. "The inability to accurately measure those rates is concerning," said Megan Greischar, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and corresponding author.

The CDC conducted a COCA Call on July 20, 2023 - Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment in the U.S. Though rare, Malaria can also be transmitted congenitally. Antimalarial therapies are approved in 2023. Confidential malaria tests are offered by Ulta Labs

Malaria Outbreak News 2023

November 30, 2023 - The WHO announced its annual malaria report, spotlighting the growing threat of climate change.

October 13, 2023 - The U.S. CDC published Notes from the Field: Locally Acquired Mosquito-Transmitted (Autochthonous) Plasmodium falciparum Malaria — National Capital Region, Maryland, August 2023.

July 3, 2023 - "The (Gates) Foundation does not fund any work involving mosquito release in the United States," a spokesperson told AFP in an email. "Malaria eradication has been a top priority of our foundation for more than two decades, and we remain committed to devoting resources and expertise toward ending the disease for good."

June 28, 2023 - The journal Nature published an article: The next frontier for malaria vaccination.

June 26, 2023: The Florida Department of Health issued a statewide mosquito-borne illness advisory following four confirmed and recovered cases of locally acquired malaria in Sarasota County.

April 13, 2023: The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica announced an increase in malaria cases, primarily in the Caribbean province of Limon.

March 29, 2023 - The WHO announced that Azerbaijan and Tajikistan had been malaria-free.

February 22, 2023 - A Stanford University-led analysis could help forecast malaria outbreaks. Published in PLOS Global Public Health, this study could inform efforts to combat Malaria more efficiently and affordably.

February 20, 2023 - "South West Ethiopia is a newly constituted region characterized by weak physical infrastructure, recurrent and heavy floods, a fragile security situation, and poor public health awareness," explained Megi Wechuro, who heads South West Ethiopia's Public Health Institute.

January 24, 2023 - The Lancet reported results from a study in Benin, which confirms that adding the pyrrole insecticide chlorfenapyr to long-lasting insecticidal nets as a second active ingredient to back up the pyrethroids can have invaluable effects on malaria transmission and disease burden.