Malaria

Protective antibodies following malaria infection

No effective vaccine exists to date against the tropical disease malaria. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now studied how the human immune system responds to natural infection by the malaria ...

Nov 28, 2017
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Air pollution may kill more Africans than HIV/AIDS

AIDS and malaria epidemics receive much attention from international health organizations, but a sneakier killer is on the loose in Africa. Air pollution may now be the continent's number one killer, according to a forthcoming ...

Dec 19, 2017
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Are mosquito coils good or bad for our health?

The sight and smell of smouldering mosquito coils is a mainstay of summer. But is all that smoke really keeping away the swarms of mosquitoes, and is breathing in the smoke worse than mosquito bites for our health?

Dec 19, 2017
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Cerebral palsy survey in Uganda fills knowledge gap

Cerebral palsy is more common and has higher mortality in Uganda than in high income countries. The underlying brain injury often occurs after the first month after birth, probably caused by malaria, a new population based ...

Oct 25, 2017
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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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