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Malaria and India's monsoon

Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by Anopheline mosquitoes. It is caused by parasitic protozoa of the genus Plasmodium , and alternates between human and mosquito hosts. If you become ill on your return and malaria is suspected, a blood test is recommended. The best way to stop malaria is to use a combination of methods. In some places, DDT may be a useful part of a program to stop malaria.


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In regions of the world where malaria is endemic, mutations have arisen in human populations that allow people to survive. Sickle cell trait, for example, protects against malaria. Malaria is one of the major scourges of mankind in the developing world. It is estimated to affect more than 500 million people causing between one and three million deaths every year. The seriousness of the worldwide re-emergence of malaria is made worse by the spread of parasites that are resistant to anti-malaria drugs. Parasites, like bacteria and viruses, can develop resistance to the drugs used to prevent or treat infection.

However, for children 6 months to 2 years of age, the risk from malaria is greater than the risk of DEET repellants when applied properly. A subsequent issue, which is also exciting, is the growing recognition that malaria is not just an issue for biologists to solve, but in fact it is more than that. It requires somebody to translate the biological results into the field, and that will require very drastic new types of skills, or at least linking research and clinical issues and rapid application of whatever is available into the field. While malaria once afflicted many Americans, today malaria is virtually unheard of in the United States.Over the decades, malaria was eliminated in the United States and elsewhere through science and medical advances. The challenge now is to make sure this progress benefits people still at risk of malaria in Africa.

The big deal about malaria is because people are dying from it every 30 seconds. The big deal is knowing I'm in a country that is not open to certain diseases is very affordable because of the financial needs that others living in Africa and South America doesn't have. Malaria is the biggest infectious disease killer worldwide; 500 million people get Malaria annually and 3 million children die from Malaria each year mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, Malaria is the biggest killer of children under 5 and is responsible for the majority of miscarriages and maternal health problems. Malaria is a parasitic infection transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. The resulting disease in humans can be devastating.

In some countries where malaria is common, the parasite has become resistant to quinine, so different combinations and doses of medication may need to be given. The patient may also need kidney dialysis, blood transfusions, oxygen therapy, and intravenous (IV) fluids, depending upon the severity of symptoms. The standard laboratory test for malaria is a thick and thin blood smear on a glass slide viewed under the microscope. Self-test kits are highly unreliable. Malaria is a complex disease that affects different organs and tissues and takes different forms. Severe malaria of childhood can present as severe malaria anemia (extremely low red blood cell numbers) or cerebral malaria (deep coma).

Malaria is so common in Africa, many people who are sick assume they have the disease and will purchase malaria drugs on their own, often leaving the real reason for their symptoms untreated. Malaria is still the biggest killer of children under five years of age and up to 70% of hospital admissions are due to malaria. Drive Against Malaria is working in Cameroon to donate 510,000 long lasting mosquito nets in Cameroon's largest LLITN's program. Malaria is caused by a parasite carried by the Anopheles mosquito. People with malaria typically are very sick with high fevers, shaking chills and flu-like illness, and they can die if they do not receive proper medical treatment.

If you are traveling to a tropical area or to a country where malaria is common, you should be aware of the risk and take some precautions. Malaria may be prevented in travelers who visit areas where malaria is present if they use antimalarial drugs and personal protection measures (for example, mosquito netting and insect repellents). The risk of malaria depends on the traveler's itinerary and activities, and their duration of travel. In 1990, the researchers started a unique study in Dielmo, Senegal, West Africa, a small village where malaria is transmission is very high all year round. For 7 y (although the initial analysis concentrated on data from the first two years) medical staff visited every villager daily to look for clinical signs of malaria.

Malaria is caused by microscopic parasites which are transmitted from person to person by female anopheles mosquitoes. When an infective mosquito bites, she transmits malaria parasites to her victim who falls ill. Poor people are at increased risk of becoming infected with malaria, and malaria is a major contributing cause of poverty in endemic areas – it makes poor people poorer. The MDGs link achievement of health outcomes - with malaria control as an indicator for progress - to the elimination of poverty. Malaria is largely preventable, detectable and treatable.

Most malaria occurring in the United States each year is a result of people having relapses from former cases or from cases recently acquired in countries where malaria is endemic (introduced malaria). Since malaria is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes, it is just as important to prevent bites as it is to take tablets. Malaria is a curable disease if promptly diagnosed and adequately treated. Increased risk of the disease is associated with land use changes such as agricultural and irrigation projects in frontier areas like the Amazon, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and by the emergence and spread of drug resistant parasites.

Malaria is a harmful disease that has great affect worldwide. It is responsible for about two million deaths a year. Malaria is a disease of warm, humid climates where pools of water constitute perfect breeding grounds for the Anopheles mosquito. With the bite of the mosquito, malaria parasites are transmitted from infected to healthy people. Falciparum malaria is a serious illness characterized by fever, headache, and weakness.

If malaria is diagnosed then treatment is a matter of urgency. Treatment should not normally be carried out by unqualified persons. Benign malaria is milder and relatively easy to treat. Malignant malaria can be very severe, and is sometimes fatal. Mortality due to malaria is estimated to be 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths each year. The vast majority of deaths occur among young children in Africa, especially in remote rural areas with poor access to health services.






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