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Malaria is Contagious disease Properties by cycles of chills, fever, and sweating, which caused by a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium in red blood cells, where is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito"(1).
Causes of malaria:
The main cause of malaria is the bite of infected mosquitoes to malaria parasite. There are four species of Plasmodium(P.) parasites that infect people:
P.falciparum, spread in the tropics and subtropics, it the second most prevalent in the world, and causes the most serious cases of malignant disease.
P vivax, the most prevalent in areas of the world's tropical and temperate climate, and cause mild cases of illness.
P.malariae, it spread less than other malaria parasites, and it similar to P.vivax in cases of illness.
P.ovale, usually spread with P.vivax in areas of the western coast of Africa and the countries of South America and Asia, and cause mild cases of illness.
Breadwinner of malaria:
Malaria parasites infect cells of human blood as it may affect some animals such as macaques(kind of monkeys).
Infection and disease symptoms:
Human who infected with malaria represents the only natural breadwinner for the spread of malaria, the female mosquito Alanofelis transfer malaria parasite from an infected person to others by biting a person in period between evening and early morning, according to type of mosquitoes activity in place. When mosquito bit an infected person it swallow the drops of his blood that may contain infectious stages of malaria parasites, and these stages Nationality paired inside the mosquito stomach, and it result in the mature stages of a new BÃ¥ge accumulate in the salivary gland of the mosquito during the incubation period ranging between 1-5 weeks depending on the type of malaria parasite. Then, when the mosquito that carrier phase bites someone it transferred to him malaria infection with it saliva. In the human body begins a complex life cycle of division and development of the malaria parasite inside and outside the red blood cells, and ending with the emergence of symptoms and clinical signs of dangerous disease, the untreated patient becomes a source of spreading the infection through the bites of female mosquitoes. During the last days of incubation of the disease in humans, which usually range between one and two weeks, symptoms begin to appear gradually and not clear, and than it quickly get increased, and appear in bouts of fever, chills and sweating, which may extend for a period of several hours. Repeated bouts every three to four days depending on the type of malaria parasite, the patient may suffer from headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, with enlargement and yellowness of the liver, muscle soreness and extreme fatigue. It may happen sometimes ill-diagnose symptoms of malaria disease, influenza or typhoid, and it is known that the clinical symptoms of malaria may persist for months or years, if not successfully treat the patient or in cases of injury setbacks and malignant.
Complications of malaria:
Renal failure and hepatic.
Harmful side effects on the nervous system and the rest of the body vital.
Especially affected on the work of the heart, lungs, digestive system and liver, leading to the death of the patient.
Malaria in Africa:
Malaria is one of the planet's deadliest diseases and one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the developing countries. According to the World Health Organization there are 300 to 500 million clinical cases of malaria each year which tend to 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths.Malaria spread in most parts of the world and we can see from the map below that the risk areas of malaria are in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas.
As we note that the most risk areas is Africa. Historically, malaria was a major cause of mortality and morbidity claiming thousands of lives, and causing major economic losses particularly in Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu/Natal (see le Sueur et al., 1993). Long periods of drought followed by heavy rains provided suitable breeding sites for mosquitoes, and thus malaria spread widely covering almost the whole of Gauteng, as far south as the Magaliesberg and the Witwatersrand. In 1928 several locally acquired cases were reported in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg (Ingram and De Meillon 1927-1929). An early map of the distribution of malaria in South Africa was produced by the Department of Public Health of the Union of South Africa in collaboration with the Swaziland Administration. The malarial areas were determined on the basis of a survey and represented the disease distribution prior to the activities of the malaria control programmed (Figure 1.1a).
Figure 1.1b: Map of the endemic malarial areas in South Africa, 2003
And there are some statistics in Africa shown the dangerous of malaria in the people and environment around them:
Approximately, one million people die from this infectious disease each year and mostly children younger than five years old.
There are an estimated 247 million cases of malaria each year.
Although the great place that malaria cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the disease is a public-health problem in more than 109 countries in the world, 45 of which are in Africa.
Approximately 3.3 billion people live in areas where malaria is a constant threat.
90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malaria costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa.
When insecticide-treated nets are used properly by three-quarters of the people in a community, then malaria transfer is cut by 50%, child deaths are cut by 20%, and the mosquito population drops by much as 90%.
It is estimated that less than 5% of children in sub-Saharan Africa currently sleep under any of insecticide-treated net.
That not every thing actually, when I look for more information about the annual malaria cases, I found that during the period 1995/1996 the national policy for malaria vector control was changed and synthetic pyrethroids were reintroduced in place of DDT. There was a noticeable increase in the number of malaria cases and deaths (Figure 1.2). Many factors may have contributed to this. Firstly, the country experienced unusually heavy rains following several years of drought, which increased the number of breeding habitats for mosquito vectors. Secondly, there has been a large influx of refugees from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Botswana many of whom carried malaria parasites. The third factor may be the growing resistance of malaria parasites to anti-malarial drugs especially chloroquine (Hansford, 1989; Nuwaha, 2001). But perhaps the last and most important factor was resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides used by the malaria control programmes, particularly in Kwazulu-Natal. Hargreaves et al (2000) showed that there was evidence of the presence of detectable numbers of Anopheles funestus mosquitoes inside houses sprayed with pyrethroids in the Ndumu area of northern Kwazulu-Natal.
Figure 1.2: Annual malaria notifications, South Africa, 1971-2003
Malaria in Nigeria:
Nigeria is the largest population in Africaââ‚¬â„¢s (estimated at 160 million), Nigeria bears a greater malaria burden than any other country in the world. Over 300,000 Nigerians die each year of the disease.
Malaria responsible for 63% of all people attendances in Nigeria.
Affects mainly children under the age of 5 years and pregnant of women.
Causes 25% of infant mortality and 30% of all childhood deaths.
Associated with 11% of all maternal deaths and 70.5% of morbidity in pregnant women.
As I said before, Nigeria is known for high spread for malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country. Available records now show that at least 50 percent of the population of Nigeria suffers and causes from at least one episode of malaria each year and malaria accounts in percent of all out-patient visits. It is reported that malaria spread (notified cases) in 2000 was about 2.4 million. Also, It is accounts percent of infant mortality and 30 percent of childhood mortality in Nigeria. For all that , it imposes great burden on the country in terms of pains trauma suffered by its victims as well as loss in outputs and cost of treatments.
To control malaria in Nigeria, they launched the national program (NMCP) and the Government of Kano State was the first wave of the national campaign to distribute mosquito nets to reducing the number of deaths from malaria in this country in half over the next few years. The Minister of Health of Nigeria, announced at the summit on control of malaria, which was held recently in Washington, DC that "the end of 2010, will have been distributed in more than 60 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets in Nigeria."
Figure 1.2: insecticide-treated mosquito nets
Reasons for the spread of malaria:
The spread of malaria needs conditions favorable to the survival of the mosquito and the plasmodium parasite. The main climate factors are temperature, precipitation and relative humidity. Temperatures of approximately 70 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of at least 60 percent are most conducive for the mosquito. The development of the malarial parasite inside the mosquito is more rapid as the temperature rises and ceases entirely below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Increased rainfall and stagnant pools of water or surface water supply hospitable breeding grounds for the mosquito.
The effect of malaria:
1) In the environment:
DDT (from its trivial name, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is one of the most well-known synthetic pesticides. The benefits of using DDT against malaria outweigh the risks, which are minor compared to the loss of life caused by the disease. It caused a significant reduction in biodiversity because of its lethal effect on many fish and bird species. Organisms can absorb DDT from the surrounding environment or directly from the food. In aquatic organism absorbed from the water is more important, while food provides the major source for terrestrials.
Effects on aquatic species
DDT is more type toxic to aquatic organism such as stoneflies, midges, crayfish and sow bugs. The younger and smaller individual's organisms are more sensitive than adult's organisms. The increase in temperature lead to decreases the toxicity of DDT to fish. The DDT also influences the behavior of the fish. The action of DDT in fish remains unclear that much. The most of the deadly effects of DDT are the result of effects on membranes because of the DTT is soluble in lipids so it dissolves membranes.
Effects on birds:
On the brides the effect of the DDT is slightly toxic or nearly non-toxic. The DTT effects in the eggshell by make it thin. Also, some studies in the laboratory on bird's reproduction and the potential of DDT to cause slight changes in courtship behavior, delays in pairing and egg lying and decrease in egg weight.
2) In the Economic:
The economic is very important in any country. There are a many levels of costs connected to malaria, these are ranges from the economical ruin of one family to the severe economical problems of entire nations. In addition of that, the economical loses also lead to social costs, which is affect in the life of millions of people.
Malaria increasing the number of mortality. The death members in many families can cause dangerous problems. It look like malaria have a tendency to occur in the season of harvest where most workers are needed to collect crops, and it known that it is the most disease in the poorest, rural area. These loses are measured in effects on output, land cleared. According to studies have shown that affected families clear only 40 % of land for crops compared to healthy families.
Some of the problems connected to many situation like malnutrition and lack of medical care. the total costs for families and other people include payments for treatment, time and transport costs in connection to the treatment, For a household and a local community there are also the time and money costs of preventive actions taken .On other hand, these costs can vary greatly from one case to another case.
On other hand ,Malaria can affect in the community by damage the economic development projects because lack of participants and cost of treatments. The countries which are effected by malaria have an estimated three out of 10 hospital beds are occupied by victims of it. so,this means the community to pay for the lack of workers and partly for the patients that tack the treatment; this means that there are operating cost such as medical equipment, and payments for doctors, nurses. Most important think is the lack of education about the malaria which is one of the social costs.
National and global costs:
Nowadays, it is known from studies that the present of malaria in a country slows down growth; especially the disease enforces huge economic costs on some of the poorest countries. The majority of infected countries are the poor countries but it is not clear whether the disease causes poverty or the other way round. To see how serious the problem is, we can look at a number of the direct and indirect costs of malaria in the sub-Saharan Africa exceeded US$ 2.
Control and treatment:
The best way of treatment is prevention. For example, recognize whether or not the country you are in or aim to travel to is one of the 109 malaria areas across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and make an Alphabetical list of the countries deemed as malaria areas. In addition, prevent getting bitten by Mosquitoes altogether by Buying a Mosquito net to sleep inside, insect repellent is something that is always useful to spray on your body and clothes to act as a deterrent, and if you do go out you should wear clothes that leaves as little of your skin exposed as possible. Furthermore, you can take some medicines that available from a chemist but it is always a good idea to check with your doctor who will be able to advise on which medicines you should get or that they may be able to prescribe you .Moreover, you should take vaccine before you want to go to one of the malaria areas.
Second way, is that treatment of Malaria comes in the form of ant malarial drugs like Quinine (Chloroquine and Primaquine), Mefloquine, and Antifolates (sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine, sulfadoxine + pyrimethamine + Mefloquine) and depends upon the strain and severity of the Malaria that has been contracted.
Third way, genetically modified mosquitoes to fight malaria. A team of scientists announced that they are close to reaching an effective way to control malaria by changing mosquito DNA. According to the study published in the journal "Nature", scientific team was able in the laboratory test procedure for the dissemination of the gene to the average of several generations of mosquitoes. And the researchers hope to reduce the incidence of malaria by creating the appropriate genetic gene that disrupts the growth of malaria-causing parasite. Scientists of "mosquitoes resistant to malaria, " use techniques such as the introduction of genes to the body of the mosquito to disrupt the growth of the parasite. The study faced a significant challenge is how to publish a gene for a mosquito genetically modified mosquitoes to land in various parts of the world. Research team, which consists of scientists from the University of Washington in Seattle and the state of America and the Imperial College in London to overcome this problem, so, scientists to enter the gene DNA to mention the mosquitoes and these genes produce an enzyme DNA divides into two halves. When the cell division genetic processes that they use the average gene thereby creating a clone of the gene and its spread in the cell.
As a result of technological development, all bearing sperm produced by the male mosquito of these genes. And then spread the gene from generation to generation during the mating season and spread the gene during the experiment in the laboratory to 12 generations of mosquitoes ,it is a successfully test in principle and are now working on the production and dissemination of other genes in the same way. The researcher believes that it can introduce new genes to pay mosquitoes attacking animals instead of humans and other disruption of the proliferation of the parasite inside the body of a mosquito. Scientists hope to produce offspring full of male mosquitoes do not transmit malaria. Furthermore, the scientists also inserted the gene protein glows green light, making the eyes of the transgenic mosquitoes glow green light, which enabled the researchers to easily sort the insects, and to compared between transgenic mosquitoes and the one that have malaria.
Finally, malaria is one of the huge problems that threaten human life, especially in poor countries. And threaten the environment in terms of the use of synthetic pesticides (DTT). Moreover, the significant impact on the country's economy. There are ways to control this disease, but the best way is prevention from it.
Sources and references:
Professor.D.Asem.Shehabi, the first edition in 1998: Human Pathogenic Microorganisms. Jordan book centre, Jordan.
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What Causes Malaria
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