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A parasitic infection occurs following the invasion of a parasite, an organism that lives and thrives on or inside a host organism. The parasite often survives at the expense of the host. The most common transmission methods for parasites are blood, feces, contaminated food and water, and insects. The prevalence and prognosis of parasitic infections vary by type and depends on several factors, including geographical region and access to adequate medical care.

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1. Malaria

Experts believe more than 200 million people have malaria. The Plasmodium parasite, protozoa, is transmitted through the blood by the bite of an infected mosquito. The vast majority of cases of malaria exist in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria presents with fever and chills and, if not treated, can lead to anemia, cerebral malaria, organ failure, and death.

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