The beginnings of human malaria uncovered


Scientists now say they have reason to believe that the first humans who caught malaria were infected by gorrillas. Before now, many thought that the virus came from the chimapanzee, and passed into humans when they shared a common ancestor.

Malaria is caused by parasites carried by mosquitoes, and causes 800,000 deaths a year in Africa. These latest discoveries are groundbreaking, and show that the human malaria virus is much newer to humans than was previously thought.

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