Malaria is a parasitic disease that involves high fevers, shaking chills, flu-like symptoms, and anemia. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted from one human to another by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitos. In humans, the parasites (called sporozoites) travel to the liver, where they mature and release another form, the merozoites. These enter the bloodstream and infect the red blood cells.
The parasites multiply inside the red blood cells, which then rupture within 48 to 72 hours, infecting more red blood cells. The first symptoms usually occur 10 days to 4 weeks are infection, though they can appear as early as 8 days or as long as a year after infection.