The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared China free of malaria. It is the first country in the western Pacific to be declared malaria-free for more than thirty years.
In the 1940s, about 30 million malaria cases were reported annually in the country. Beginning in the 1950s, that number was reduced by a series of government initiatives. Vaccines were given in dangerous areas, mosquito breeding areas were reduced and pesticides were available in large quantities.
By the late 1990s, the annual number of epidemics had dropped to 117,000 and deaths by 95 percent. In 2020, China did not register malaria for the fourth year in a row, after which the country applied for a malaria-free status.
Australia won Singapore in 1981, Singapore in 1982 and Brunei in 1987. Worldwide, 40 countries and territories have been certified malaria-free by the World Health Organization. Acquired by the Netherlands in 1970. In other areas, the infection is never diagnosed or the disease goes away on its own.
Malaria is transmitted by infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The disease causes, among other things, high fever, headache and cold and is life threatening if not treated in a timely manner. According to the World Health Organization, 229 million people will be affected by malaria in 2019, resulting in an estimated 409,000 deaths. With 94 percent of malaria cases worldwide, Africa is the most affected.
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