Tomorrow is the fifth annual World Malaria Day and this year’s theme is simple: “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.” To help do our part, Mosquito Squad continues to support Malaria No More in its goal of reaching near zero deaths in Africa by 2015. In fact, we recently committed more than $50,000 to help fight this treatable and preventable disease. If you want to help us in our fight against malaria, donate at SwatMalaria.net on World Malaria Day!
Established by the World Health Assembly, World Malaria Day was started in 2007 to provide “education and understanding of malaria.” Its first theme was “Malaria – a disease without borders.” Although malaria is heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, it, at times, reached epidemic levels in many parts of the world, including Europe and North America.
In honor of World Malaria Day, here are some facts about the disease that you may not know:
- The world malaria comes from the Italian words for “bad air” because the disease was first thought to be a result of bad swamp air.
- It is the world’s deadliest disease, killing over 650,000 people a year, most of which are children
- Some Egyptian mummies show signs of malaria
- Aristotle, Homer and Hippocrates all described the symptoms of malaria in their works
- Shakespeare alludes to malaria in eight of his plays
- In Europe, it spread as far north as Russia
- The Incas were the first to find relief from malaria using bark from the cinchona tree
- George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant all suffered from the disease
- British physician Ronald Ross was the first to discover that malaria was carried by the mosquito in 1897
- The US Center for Disease control was initially set up with the mission to control the spread of malaria
- Malaria was eradicated in the US in the 1950s
- Malaria mosquitoes need to drink blood every three days
- Symptoms of the disease usually appear 10-15 days after a person is infected
World Malaria Day is a day to spread awareness of the disease as well as a day to take action. A donation of just $10 to Malaria No More can help protect a mother and three small children against this terrible illness. To give now, visit SwatMalaria.net.