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Posts Tagged ‘malaria’

Tens of Thousands Hit by Waterborne Diseases as S. Asia’s Deadly Floods Recede

Posted by feww on September 6, 2017

Submitted by a reader

More deaths and diseases follow the deadly floods in S. Asia

Outbreaks of malaria, dengue, diarrhea and respiratory infections have hit tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal as the waters from the worst floods in recent years recede, aid agencies have said.

Severe floods have killed up to 1,500 people in South Asia since July, leaving tens of thousands displaced, in open air.

About 40,000 people have been infected in Bangladesh and Nepal, while multiple communities have been entirely wiped out in India’s eastern state of Bihar, Save the Children said.

An estimated 17 million children need protection, healthcare and basic nutrition in India alone, the agency said.

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Malaria Drugs Fail to Treat UK Patients

Posted by feww on February 1, 2017

New parasite strains show drug resistance

A frontline drug which was highly effective at treating malaria in the UK, has reportedly failed to cure four patients who contracted the disease in Africa, according to new research published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Infective female Anopheles mosquito infect about 300 million people

Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases  caused by protozoan parasites. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

Malaria parasites are micro-organisms of the genus Plasmodium. Of the more than 100 species of Plasmodium, four species can infect humans in nature.

Plasmodium falciparum is the only species that can cause severe, potentially fatal malaria because it multiples rapidly in the blood, often causing anemia (severe blood loss). Additionally, the parasites can clog small blood vessels. If this complication occurs in the brain, it causes cerebral malaria, which can be fatal.


This 2005 photograph depicted a female Anopheles albimanus mosquito while she was feeding on a human host, thereby, becoming engorged with blood.  Like other species in the genus Anopheles, A. albimanus adults hold the major axis of the body more perpendicularly to the surface of the skin when blood feeding. Anopheles spp. adults also generally feed in the evening, or early morning when it is still dark. This species is a vector of malaria, predominantly in Central America. Photo Credit:   James Gathany/CDC.

Each year infective female Anopheles mosquito infect about 300 million people, killing  about 1.5  million. About ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.  [Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria, and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person.

See also:  Malaria Disease


The life cycle of the malaria parasite in the human body. Image courtesy of the Medical Arts and Photography Branch, NIH.

“The UK patients, who all recovered after receiving alternative treatment, were found to be infected with new strains of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Although the researchers can’t rule out other factors, they believe the treatment failure was due to these strains showing reduced susceptibility, a potential first sign of drug resistance, to Artemether-lumefantrine (AL), a type of Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT).”

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Disaster declared in Qld, Australia as flooding worsens

Posted by feww on February 3, 2012

Major emergency as rivers in Southern Qld continue to rise

Flooding across the two Australian states of Queensland (Qld) and New South Wales (NSW) is rapidly worsening, with southwest Qld declared a disaster area, while tens of thousands of residents are reportedly isolated by rising floodwaters in northern NSW and southern Qld.

Disaster Calendar 2012 – February 3

[February 3, 2012]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,503 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Qld and NWS, Australia. Southwest Qld has been declared a major disaster area, as flooding across the two Australian states of Queensland (Qld) and New South Wales (NSW) rapidly worsens, with tens of thousands of residents  reportedly isolated by rising floodwaters in northern NSW and southern Qld.
    • “Half of the houses in the town of Mitchell, 560 km west of Brisbane, have been affected by a major flood peak in the Maranoa River and it’s expected to reach 9.6 m later today.”
    • The town of Moree in northern NSW has been cut off by floodwaters, isolating about 10,000 residents, the State Emergency Service (SES) said.

Other Global Disasters

  • Alaska, USA.  The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska due to a severe storm during the period of November 15-17, 2011.
    • The severe storm caused widespread devastation in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
  • Eastern and Central Europe.The 10-day death toll from the big freeze in eastern and central Europe has claimed to at least 280.
    • The largest reported death tolls are in Ukraine (107), Russia (60), Poland (43) and Romania (28).
    • More weather related  deaths have been reported throughout the region including in Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.
    • At least 1,500 people have sought medical help for hypothermia and frostbites.
    • In parts of Kazakhstan temperatures fell to as low -50º C (minus 58º F) setting a new record.
  • Global.  An estimated 1.2 million people, about 90 percent of whom were  Africans, died from malaria in 2010, according to a new study.

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Today is World Water Day

Posted by feww on March 22, 2010

Water Issues: Scarcity and Pollution

A sever drought is affecting about 60 million people in SW China. Well that’s less than 1 percent of the world population, you could argue.

But another 60 million people are severely affected by a drought in the Mekong Basin, which is threatening not just their livelihood, but their survival.  The water flows are the lowest  for 20 years, warns the Mekong River Commission (MRC). The drought has an impact on agriculture, food security, access to clean water and river transport.

Drought conditions are so severe in parts of Africa most women have to walk five miles per day, carrying just enough water for drinking and cooking in large containers placed on their head.

Of Africa’s 53 nations, only 10 countries have adequate drinking water. In Uganda alone, more than 10 million people have no access to clean water.

More than a billion people have NO access to safe water and about 2.5 billion people live without adequate sanitation. About 55 percent of “developing world’s” population are  suffering from at least one major illness  related to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Each day, at least 6,000 children die of waterborne diseases including diarrhoeal diseases and malaria.—UNICEF


Mwamanongu Village water source, Tanzania. In Meatu district, Shinyanga region, Tanzania, water most often comes from open holes dug in the sand of dry riverbeds, and it is invariably contaminated. Credit:  Bob Metcalf

Unsanitary water is responsible for 80 per cent of all illnesses,  and is world’s number one killer, UN says.

The UN also states that unsanitary water is responsible for 1.5 million cases of hepatitis A (and 133 million cases of intestinal parasites).

According to the world bank, waterborne illnesses are each year responsible for:

  • 4 billion cases of diarrhea, killing more than 6 million people.
  • 300 million cases of malaria
  • 200 million cases of schistosomiasis
  • 6 million people are blinded by trachoma ( 500 million people who are currently at risk of contracting the disease).

Bottom line

As of  March 2010

  • One in five people on this planet have no access to clean water.
  • One in ten people is experiencing a severe to a moderate drought.

Every year, nearly 11 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday, most from preventable causes. That is approximately, 30, 000 children per day. Another 300 million children suffer from illnesses caused by lack of clean water, poor nutrition and inadequate health services and care. —UNICEF

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Malaria parasites resist old drugs, need new ones!

Posted by feww on May 29, 2009

What is Malaria?

Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases  caused by protozoan parasites. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

Malaria parasites are micro-organisms of the genus Plasmodium. Of the more than 100 species of Plasmodium, four species can infect humans in nature.

Plasmodium falciparum is the only species that can cause severe, potentially fatal malaria because it multiples rapidly in the blood, often causing anemia (severe blood loss). Additionally, the parasites can clog small blood vessels. If this complication occurs in the brain, it causes cerebral malaria, which can be fatal.


This 2005 photograph depicted a female Anopheles albimanus mosquito while she was feeding on a human host, thereby, becoming engorged with blood.  Like other species in the genus Anopheles, A. albimanus adults hold the major axis of the body more perpendicularly to the surface of the skin when blood feeding. Anopheles spp. adults also generally feed in the evening, or early morning when it is still dark. This species is a vector of malaria, predominantly in Central America. Photo Credit:   James Gathany/CDC.

Each year infective female Anopheles mosquito infect about 300 million people, killing  about 1.5  million. About ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.  [Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria, and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person.

See also:  Malaria Disease


The life cycle of the malaria parasite in the human body. Image courtesy of the Medical Arts and Photography Branch, NIH.

Researchers say they have found evidence malaria parasites are showing resistance to the artemesinin family of drugs, previously the  most effective drug for treating malaria.

“They say the trend in western Cambodia has to be urgently contained because full-blown resistance would be a global health catastrophe.” BBC reported (!)

Drugs are said to take four to five days, instead of the previous norm of two to three days, to remove  malaria parasites from blood, which is “an early warning sign of emerging resistance to a disease which kills a million people every year.”

“The artemesinin family of drugs is the world’s front-line defence against the most prevalent and deadly form of malaria.” BBC said.

“Two teams of scientists, working on separate clinical trials, have reported seeing the disturbing evidence that the drugs are becoming much less effective.”

“There is particular concern because previous generations of malaria drugs have been undermined by resistance which started in this way, in this part of the world, our correspondent reports.”

This may be true, but that’s how/why new generations of drugs are formulated. Is this another bout of scaremongering?

For the scaremongering to be more effective, the BBC needs three other components involved

  • The World Health Organization
  • A British professor
  • And some lab data

“The World Health Organization warned in 2006 there was a possibility the malaria parasite could develop a resistance to artemesinin drugs, and that there was particular concern about a decreased sensitivity to the drug being seen in South East Asia.” BBC said.

“It urged drug firms to stop selling artemesinin on its own in order to prevent resistance building up.

“Early results from two studies by US and UK teams have both revealed the early stages of resistance.

“Between a third and a half of patients in the US study saw delayed clearance of the malaria parasite.

“In the UK study, patients in the Cambodia arm of the trial took almost twice as long to clear the parasite as a comparison group in Thailand.”

YES! It’s bad, really bad. We need a breakthrough. All you pharmaceuticals out there: Are you designing anything new? Please?

Professor Nick Day, director of the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit,  which is carrying out the UK study said: “Twice in the past, South East Asia has made a gift, unwittingly, of drug resistant parasites to the rest of the world, in particular to Africa,” according to BBC.

“That’s the problem. We’ve had chloroquine and SP (sulfadoxine pyrimethamine) resistance, both of which have caused major loss of life in Africa,” he said in reference to earlier generation anti-malarial drugs.

“If the same thing happens again, the spread of a resistant parasite from Asia to Africa, that will have devastating consequences for malaria control,” he said.

“If it strengthens and spreads, they warn, many millions of lives will be at risk. About half the world’s population faces exposure to the disease.” BBC WARNED (AGAIN).

Where is all of this leading to? Watch out for the next malaria silver bullets from the top ten pharmaceuticals SOON!

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Posted in Anopheles albimanus, genus Plasmodium, malaria mosquito, Plasmodium falciparum, protozoan parasites | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »