CDC Malaria Program

Malaria is spread by the bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito. The disease can cause fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If it is not treated, it can cause severe complications and death.

Malaria remains a preventable cause of serious illness and death worldwide, including in the United States

  • 3.2 billion people – almost half the world’s population – are at risk
  • 247 million people became ill from malaria in 2021across 84 countries
  • 619,000 people died from malaria in 2021
  • $12 billion lost per year in economic productivity in Africa alone

Malaria is still a threat to American travelers, military personnel, and citizens living and working abroad. Typically, about 2,000 malaria cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.


Malaria’s toll would be much higher without the efforts of the U.S. Government, including CDC, and other global partners.
  • With the massive scale-up of malaria prevention and treatment interventions
  • Globally, more than 11 million lives were saved since 2000
  • Malaria deaths in Africa were reduced by 36% between 2000 and 2021


CDC provides scientific leadership in innovation and surveillance, monitoring and impact evaluation to fight malaria, working hand in hand with Ministries of Health, other U.S. Government agencies, and partners.
  • Providing scientific leadership and technical assistance to guide countries and partners
  • Improving data quality and accessibility for use in decision-making
  • Scaling up interventions through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)
  • Conducting innovative research to improve diagnostics, antimalarial drugs, vaccines, and tools to control mosquitoes
  • Preventing, treating, and tracking malaria in the United States


  • Serves as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Prevention and Control of Malaria and participates on advisory and technical working groups to inform and improve global programs
  • Tracks reported malaria cases to prevent re-introduction to the United States, provides guidance to travelers, and advises physicians on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
  • Co-implements PMI with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and advises on surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, vector control, and research
  • Assesses pilot implementation of a new malaria vaccine (RTS,S) and evaluate other potential interventions (monoclonal antibodies, mosquito control tools) in western Kenya
  • Operates a state-of-the-art insectary and laboratory to help understand mosquito behavior and how to control the spread of malaria, and tracks trends in insecticide resistance
  • Supports development of diagnostic tools, builds capacity of states and countries to diagnose malaria, and evaluates malaria rapid diagnostic tests from various manufacturers for compliance with standards, preferred practices for labeling, and instructions for use
  • Monitors an emerging threat, Anopheles stephensi, a mosquito that has crossed from Southern Asia to Eastern Africa and threatens to reverse progress towards global malaria elimination


  • Enhanced efforts to prevent malaria in travelers and ensuring timely diagnosis and treatment of all cases of malaria in the United States
  • Continued scale-up in countries hardest hit by malaria, with insecticide-treated nets, indoor spraying, effective diagnostics and treatment, and prevention in pregnant women
  • Improved surveillance systems to monitor progress and targeting interventions to where they are most needed and evaluate impact
  • Monitoring and mitigating threats from insecticide and drug resistance, and invasive mosquitoes
  • Evaluation of new vaccines and other biologicals, improved diagnostics for case management, and vector control tools
  • Targeted strategies to reduce and interrupt transmission to achieve elimination

To learn more about CDC’s work to prevent, control, and eliminate parasitic diseases, visit