Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New high-resolution maps show how to defeat malaria

New research published today in The Lancet examines high-resolution images in areas where the fight to defeat malaria is succeeding and where it has stalled.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Ghana jabs back against malaria's devastation

Abigal Aguanyi, a trader and mother in the West African nation of Ghana, knows first-hand how dangerous malaria can be—her two-year-old niece nearly died from it.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Proteasome inhibitors show promise for drug-resistant malaria

Proteasome inhibitors have significant promise as components of novel combination therapies to treat multidrug-resistant malaria, according to a study published June 6 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by David Fidock, ...

Medical research

Drug to treat malaria could mitigate hereditary hearing loss

The ability to hear depends on proteins to reach the outer membrane of sensory cells in the inner ear. But in certain types of hereditary hearing loss, mutations in the protein prevent it from reaching these membranes. Using ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Half of Ebola outbreaks go undetected, study finds

Half of Ebola outbreaks have gone undetected since the virus was discovered in 1976, scientists at the University of Cambridge estimate. The new findings come amid rising concern about Ebola in the Democratic Republic of ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Ebola: A public health response in crisis

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the throes of its worst Ebola outbreak since the disease was first discovered there in 1976. It is the second-worst outbreak in history, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2014 that ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

WHO alarmed at STD spread in the era of dating apps

The World Health Organization expressed alarm Thursday at the lack of progress on curbing sexually transmitted diseases, while one of its experts warned of complacency as dating apps are spurring sexual activity.

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Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma or death. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Severe disease is largely caused by Plasmodium falciparum while the disease caused by Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae is generally a milder disease that is rarely fatal. Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonosis that causes malaria in macaques but can also infect humans.

Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or by mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water (where mosquitoes breed). Despite a clear need, no vaccine offering a high level of protection currently exists. Efforts to develop one are ongoing. A number of medications are also available to prevent malaria in travelers to malaria-endemic countries (prophylaxis).

A variety of antimalarial medications are available. Severe malaria is treated with intravenous or intramuscular quinine or, since the mid-2000s, the artemisinin derivative artesunate, which is superior to quinine in both children and adults. Resistance has developed to several antimalarial drugs, most notably chloroquine.

There were an estimated 225 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2009. An estimated 655,000 people died from malaria in 2010, a 5% decrease from the 781,000 who died in 2009 according to the World Health Organization's 2011 World Malaria Report, accounting for 2.23% of deaths worldwide. Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with ~60% of deaths being young children under the age of five. Plasmodium falciparum, the most severe form of malaria, is responsible for the vast majority of deaths associated with the disease. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.

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