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Despite a long-standing struggle to control mosquitos, malaria causes 300-500 million infections and up to 2.7 million deaths each year mainly in Africa, India, South East Asia and South America.

About a half-billion people are infected at any one time the vast majority are children under the age of five.

Malaria kills one person every 30 seconds.

The name malaria is derived from the Italian, (mal-aria) or "bad air". The disease, now known to be mosquito borne, was once thought to be caused by foul smelling air in marshy areas. It was also known as Roman fever.

It has been calculated that, excluding wars and natural disasters, mosquito borne malaria is implicated in 50% of all the human deaths since pre-history.

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