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Meaning 'bad air' (from the Italian), malaria is a tropical disease causing fever, shivering, pain in the joints, vomiting, and convulsions and sometimes coma and death in its sufferers. It is usually carried by a microbe parasite Plasmodium falciparum in the malaria mosquito (Anopheles). P.vivax, P.ovale and P.malariae also cause the disease.

Since the 17th C. quinine was the treatment for malaria. The development of quinacrine, chloroquine, and primaquine in the 20th C. reduced the reliance on quinine. But certain strains of P. falciparum have developed a resistance to chloroquine, and quinine is used again in certain places.