posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:16 PM
Researchers have used computer modelling to figure out how many people are suffering from malia. Their results indicate that possibly twice as many
people are infected with the dreaded blood parasite Plasmodium falciparum
than previously estimated. Their estimates range from 300 to 660
million, for the year 2002. The WHO estimate for 1998 was 273 million.
This research can affect everything about the disease, from its epidemiology to its treatment and pharmacology.
Map of 2002 World Wide Prevalence
Snow's numbers are still only a rough approximation of malaria's prevalence. But "it's probably the best estimate we have", says Andrew
Spielman, a specialist in tropical infectious diseases at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "It's known to be a terrible burden and now it
appears it's even more terrible than we thought."
Snow hopes that the new study will help work out the amount of money, medicines and other resources needed to combat malaria. Without it, for example,
pharmaceutical companies struggle to know how many drugs to make and public health agencies find it hard to gauge how well they are curbing the
disease. The map could also help guide where in the world money and aid should be targeted.
Even so, public health researchers and advocates say that they need more. They point out that unlike other infectious diseases such as HIV and
tuberculosis, we already know how to defeat malaria using simple measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets and drugs. Spielman predicts that some
groups will use the study as "ammunition" to ask for more funding.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Malaria is very much under appreciated in the west, I suspect. This is certainly because of ignorance, both from it simply not being a disease in
the west, and also from there being a lack of education on the subject. Malaria is very destructive, its very deadly, and even those who don't die
from it can suffer terribly.
There is a great cost in human life and happiness from not properly dealing with this disease.
Developmental Stages of P.falciparcum
Related News Links:
The Research Paper
Biology Page on the Parasite
Malaria Body Warns 'Ad Hoc' Funding Risky
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
NEWS: Malaria Threat Emerges in Tsunami Zone
SCI/TECH: Malaria Vaccine Hope
[edit on 14-3-2005 by Banshee]