Malaria is commonly referred to as a life-threatening disease. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream. Malaria may be an ancient mosquito-borne disease, but it still plagues millions of people worldwide every year, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, an estimated 216 million cases occurred globally in 2016—and only 15 countries dealt with a majority of them.