Malaria Travel Guide
By Roadjunky, Posted Jun 24, 2008
The world’s biggest killer.
Around 30,000 travelers from the West catch malaria each year.
Every 30 seconds a kid in Africa dies from malaria.
In the 1960’s scientists were confident that malaria would soon be a thing of the past. It might well have been had all the governments in the world taken steps to wipe out mosquito breeding grounds. However corruption, civil war and incompetence made that impossible in the Third World and 350 million people still contract malaria each year. For over two million of them it’s fatal.
The carrier http://www.flickr.com/photos/kozzmen/
In fact, malaria cases are on the rise as the disease has become resistant to some conventional drugs. 90% of the cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa though the disease is also to be found through South East Asia and the tropical regions of South America. It’s a disease that primarily hits the poorest people in the poorest countries in the world where there’s little mosquito control.
The disease itself is a parasite that lives in the gut of a particular mosquito (the anpheles if you’re an insect buff). It’s a very complex parasite that loves nothing better than to lodge itself in the human liver. It bursts out into the blood stream and causes a terrible fever for 10-14 days before it burns itself out.
"In the great year of 1999, when we first landed on Mars and Malaria was a thing of the past..." http://www.flickr.com/photos/espd/
There are many kinds of malaria and even if it doesn’t kill you it can cause severe damage to the liver, kidneys or the brain. One kind in particular, plasmodium falpicarum, has a 1-2% fatality rate and is particularly bad news. This one is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Other less dangerous strains can lodge themselves in the liver and come back to get you years later.
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