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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases Arrow to MalariaMalaria

mosquito-born malaria The mosquito-born malaria parasite kills up to 2 million people annually.

In many parts of the world - especially in African countries south of the Sahara - it is a major killer of children under the age of 5.

Following a bite by an infected mosquito, signs of the disease usually begin with flu-like symptoms. These including fever, chills, headache, and nausea. As the disease progresses, yellowing of the eyes may result from associated liver or kidney damage. If left untreated, malaria can be fatal.

Quinine has been the traditional drug used to combat malaria, although today it usually coupled with combination therapy including certain antibiotics. Depending on the type and geographic location of the outbreak, certain anti-malarial drugs have proven more effective than others.

How to avoid malaria when traveling

Currently, there is no known inoculation against malaria, although preventative drugs in pill form - such as Mefloquine, Malarone, Doxycycline, Fansidar, or Primaquine - help cut down the risk of catching the disease.

Since no malaria pill is 100% effective, prevention also consists of common sense precautions against mosquito bites, such as wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants, and the use of insect repellent, and a bed net.


malaria map


Countries where risk remains high include South Africa and other African countries south of the Sahara. Other areas of the world prone to malaria are the Brazilian Amazon; the jungles of Bolivia and Colombia; and many rural parts of India and Southeast Asia.

In western Europe and the United States, public health measures have effectively eliminated malaria. However, mosquitoes can still transmit the disease anywhere in the world and reintroduction of malaria remains a constant risk.

Malaria and DDT

In a delicate balance between environmental concerns and the battle against malaria, a near-global ban on the insecticide DDT beginning in the 1970's increased the population of mosquitoes, and sparked an ongoing controversy.

Today, regulation against the use of DDT have been lifted in certain circumstances, specifically in Sub-Saharan countries where malaria is a larger concern. Meanwhile, improvements in the local health infrastructure that encourage early diagnosis and treatment has resulted in renewed hope for controlling the disease.

Around the Web, find out more about malaria, its symptoms & treatment, current research, and what else worldwide organizations are doing to combat the disease ...

also see -> West Nile Virus

More about malaria around the Web:


Malaria.com - The site design stands in stark contrast to the topic. A simply beautiful setup with pages of easily located information and updates together with related resources.

MIMCom Malaria Research Resources - Boasting the first electronic malaria research network in the world - a consortium of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and related organizations in Africa, the U.S., the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Europe - and providing access for scientists working in Africa.

WHO - Malaria - Mapping Malaria Risk In Africa, with data the main draw here although the resources lead to more generalized information. The numbers paint a vivid picture of the need for research and action.

Africa Fighting Malaria - This site is very pro DDT to curb the mosquito population. Full disclosure: it is also backed by two of the largest mining operations in South Africa.

 

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

 

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