Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Multidrug-resistant malaria spreading in Asia

Multidrug-resistant forms of Plasmodium falciparum parasites, the most lethal species causing human malaria, have evolved even higher levels of resistance to antimalarial drugs and spread rapidly since 2015, becoming firmly ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Buzz off: breakthrough technique eradicates mosquitoes

A breakthrough technique harnessing two methods to target disease-carrying mosquitoes was able to effectively eradicate buzzing biters in two test sites in China, according to research published on Thursday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Getting to zero malaria cases in Zanzibar

New research led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Ifakara Health Institute and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program suggests that a better understanding of human behavior at night—when malaria ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Malaria surges back in crisis-hit Venezuela

The sweltering heat of the Venezuelan forest makes no difference to Jose Gregorio, who trembles with a cold chill. "I have pain everywhere, fever," he stammers.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A legal framework for vector-borne diseases and land use

Vector-borne diseases cause more than 700,000 deaths and affect hundreds of millions of people per year. These illnesses—caused by parasites, viruses, and bacteria transmitted by insects and animals—account for more than ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Ebola in Uganda, and the dynamics of a new and different outbreak

The 2018 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), has been a very different kind of outbreak than the massive West African outbreak that occurred in 2014 and 2015. For starters, it is much smaller, with just ...

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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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