It was April 25th, 2016 that we celebrated another World Malaria Day. Well, I’m of the opinion that malaria is not something new to us; the deadly disease transmitted about by the small to medium sized female folk of the Anopheles mosquito.
I wouldn’t bore you with a lengthy introduction to what malaria is but instead we would go ahead to just enlighten ourselves about some amazing facts gathered about malaria.
These facts are;
1) Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria
2) In 2015, there was an estimate of 438,000 malaria deaths.
3) Sub-Saharan Africa continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden.
4) An infected person may start feeling symptoms anywhere from a week to a month after they are infected. With some rarer forms of malaria, the parasites remain dormant and an infected person will not become ill for up to 4years.
5) Vulnerability is higher in pregnant women and if contracted, it can be passed to the infant resulting in low birth rate and decreasing the baby’s chance of survival.
6) Malaria is caused only by the female folks of the Anopheles mosquito. Is your question why?, Well; it is because they enjoy the mammalian blood to feed their developing eggs whereas their male counterparts on the other hand feed on the nectar of plants.
7) Malaria comes from the Italian mal ‘aria meaning bad air. The Romans were of the belief that swamp fumes caused the illness.
8) According to the Centre For Disease Control and Prevention; among the malaria species that infect humans, P.vivax and P.ovale can develop dormant liver stages that can reactivate after symptomless intervals of up to 2yrs(P.vivax) and 4yrs(P.ovale).
9) Without proper treatment, malaria can kill within 24hrs of symptom onset.
10) Artemisinin Combination Therapies are W.H.O’s recommended first line treatment for uncomplicated malaria.
11) Injectable aartesunate is a W.H.O preferred treatment for severe malaria and prevents 22.5%relative reduction in mortality rate compared to injectable quinine which used to be the former standard for cure.
12) MMV is working with GlaxoSmithKline to develop next generation anti-relapse medicines that could potentially be taken in a single dose.
13) The new line of drugs in the research phase includes a class of drug called Spiro indoles which have the potential to block the signaling pathway of the parasite leading to its destruction at an early stage in the disease. More so, another novel drug is one that causes a salt overload within the parasite’s body leading to its death.
Well, we have heard it all. Keep your environment free from stagnant water and grasses for they are susceptible sites for Mrs. Anopheles Mosquito and do not forget to use a mosquito net and insecticide when necessary especially during the humid periods.
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On this note, I am running off, but do not forget to stay healthy by taking all the precautions to prevent yourself and yours from mosquito bite.
W.H.O Facts About Malaria. S.Hollyman
www.thehealthsite.com Pavitra Sampat(April,2015)
www.Mentalfloss.com Chris Higgins