Officials with the Venezuelan Society of Public Health said recently in a forum that the number of malaria cases in the country has reached epidemic proportions, according to a El Universal report (computer translated).

Anopheles gambiae mosquito Image/CDC
Anopheles gambiae mosquito

Through Sep. 5, officials put the malaria case tally at 88,906, a 55 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Other data revealed shows that malaria cases in children under 10 years is up 76 percent from 2011 to 2014 and is projected to be up 138 percent by years end.

Malaria is considered the most important parasitic disease affecting humans. The female Anopheles mosquito serves as the vector for the parasite.

The mosquito-borne disease continues to sicken and kill far too many people each year, most of them children. In 2012, roughly 207 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide resulting in 627,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2013, 97 countries had ongoing malaria transmission, placing 3.4 billion people at risk for the disease.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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