Malaria is a vector-borne disease that is caused by protozoan parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax which has a complex developmental cycle that alternates between the human hosts and mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles (Dickinson et al., 45). The effect this disease does to human populations is astronomical. According to Dickinson, Pattanayak et al., there are about three hundred to five hundred million cases every year and affects many children; about one to three million people affected are children (45). There are three components to this disease: the vector (mosquito), the host (people) and the pathogen (plasmodium). This process begins when a mosquito is infected by the parasite Anopheles, bites a person and transmits malaria: the mosquito injects the malaria parasites, called sporozoites that enter the blood stream (Davis). The sporozoites travel to the liver where they grow, mature and infect the red blood cells (Davis). The parasites develop in the blood cells until a mosquito takes a "blood meal" from a person infected and consumes the red blood cells, which contains the parasites (Davis). From there, the mosquito has the parasites in it's own salivary glands and stomach, thus labeled an Anopheles mosquito. The cycle keeps repeating itself over and over, increasing more risks of people getting malaria. .
The reason why malaria occurs is because of the numerous cleared areas once inhabited with an abundance of trees. This is known as deforestation. Deforestation has a correlation with malaria as it has been seen in many different studies. According to one study done by University of Wisconsin's Sarah Olson, she used technology like satellite data that would measure the damage of the forests and the correlation with malaria cases in the Amazon basin. According to her study, she said there was a clear correlation with deforestation and malaria: a five percent increase in deforestation was related to a fifty percent increase of the risk of malaria (Chimes, 1).