Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Malaria hides in people without symptoms

It seems like the never-ending battle against malaria just keeps getting tougher. In regions where malaria is hyper-prevalent, anti-mosquito measures can only work so well due to the reservoir that has built up of infected ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Pneumonia epidemic is deadliest child killer: aid groups

Pneumonia is the world's deadliest child killer, with a "forgotten epidemic" claiming one young life every 39 seconds, international health and children's agencies warned Tuesday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Mated female mosquitoes are more likely to transmit malaria parasites

Female mosquitoes that have mated are more likely to transmit malaria parasites than virgin females, according to a study published November 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Farah Dahalan of Imperial College ...

Medical research

Immune reaction causes organ damage from malaria infection

Malaria is one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases: a small mosquito bite delivers numerous malaria parasites into the bloodstream. The human body defends itself valiantly against the parasite, which usually results ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers enlist the cloud to wipe out malaria

The Monash scientists who developed the small game-changing device that can rapidly screen blood in minutes to detect disease-causing pathogens have now confirmed the successful operation of a cloud-based system based on ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

UN: More than 7 million malaria cases in Burundi outbreak

The World Health Organization says more than 7 million cases of malaria have been reported in Burundi this year. Officials blame the outbreak on factors including the lack of protective bed nets, problems with medicines and ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Editing mosquito's gene wards off malaria and halts reproduction

Scientists have looked for immune system factors that might help mosquitoes ward off pathogens such as malarial parasites and indirectly protect humans from infection. Yale researchers found one by editing a single gene, ...

Genetics

Important gene variants found in certain African populations

In the nearly 20 years since the Human Genome Project was completed, experts in genetic variants increasingly have raised concerns about the overemphasis on studying people of European descent when performing large population ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Garbage crisis brings cholera to Yemen's historic Taez

Mounds of stinking garbage line the streets of Yemen's historic city of Taez, once renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the country, but now torn apart by war.

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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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