Malaria: guidance, data and analysis

The characteristics, diagnosis, management, surveillance and epidemiology of malaria.

Malaria is a serious but preventable disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium. It doesn’t occur in the UK. It’s transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There are 5 types of Plasmodium that cause the disease in humans; Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) are the most common.

P. falciparum can progress to severe and life-threatening illness including cerebral malaria if it’s not diagnosed and treated promptly. Clinicians should consider malaria as a potential diagnosis in anyone with a fever who’s been to a malaria risk area, up to a year following their return home.

See the NHS website for symptoms and general information on malaria.

Malaria is a notifiable disease in England and Wales.

Prevention, treatment and investigation

Diagnosis and management

The Malaria Reference Laboratory (MRL) handbook, reporting forms and contact details are available from the link below.


Malaria research and analysis.

Travel advice leaflets

Resources for health professionals to give to patients.

Updates to this page

Published 19 June 2014
Last updated 30 May 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Malaria in the UK: annual report'.

  2. Added: 'Imported malaria in South London: annual reports'.

  3. Added 'Malaria in the UK: annual report'.

  4. First published.