Malaria is a protozoal disease the genus Plasmodium and has an acute and chronic clinical spectra. Four species cause human disease. P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale. The protozoa are transmitted to humans by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. Transmission may also occur by direct inoculation of infected red blood cells via blood transfusion, needles, or congenitally. Most serious and fatal complications are caused by P. falciparum.
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