Saturday, April 25, 2009

World Malaria Day

*This is not a donation solicitation. I do not expect or request a donation. I just wanted to share this information with you!*

Since today is World Malaria Day, I thought I'd share some Malaria related facts with you about this completely preventable and treatable disease:
  • Forty-one percent of the world's population live in areas where malaria is transmitted (e.g., parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Hispaniola, and Oceania).
  • Each year 350–500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide, and over one million people die, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In areas of Africa with high malaria transmission, an estimated 990,000 people died of malaria in 1995 – over 2700 deaths per day, or 2 deaths per minute.
  • After a single sporozoite (the parasite form inoculated by the female mosquito) of Plasmodium falciparum invades a liver cell, the parasite grows in 6 days and produces 30,000-40,000 daughter cells (merozoites) which are released into the blood when the liver cell ruptures. In the blood, after a single merozoite invades a red blood cell, the parasite grows in 48 hours and produces 8-24 daughter cells, which are released into the blood when the red blood cell ruptures.
  • Four Nobel prizes have been awarded for work associated with malaria, to Sir Ronald Ross (1902), Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran (1907), Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1927) and Paul Hermann Muller (1948).
  • The average cost for potentially life-saving treatments of malaria are estimated to be US$0.13 for chloroquine, US$0.14 for sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and US$2.68 for a 7-day course of quinine.
  • Of the ten species of Anopheles mosquitoes found in the United States, the two species that were responsible for malaria transmission prior to eradication (Anopheles quadrimaculatus in the east and An. freeborni in the west) are still widely prevalent; thus there is a constant risk that malaria could be reintroduced in the United States.
Source: CDC

Now you know a little more about malaria. The thing that freaks me out the most is that it could be reintroduced into the United States. I just wanted to help educate you on the subject a little bit in case you were like me and thought that it was eradicated. I mean, silly me for listening to my Health class instructor in elementary school, right? It was eradicated in the United States in the 1950s, but not in the rest of the world. Check out these countries still affected:

People are having fundraisers all over the world for this cause, check this map out to see if you have any near you. Again, I'm not asking you to donate or participate. I Heart Monster supports Nothing but Nets, a UN charity that provides mosquito nets to families in Africa, helping to stop the spread of malaria and will be donating a net today in honor of World Malaria Day.

So that you get a little something book-ish from this post: there is a book out called First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Waite-Brown. It's a nonfiction tale of a woman on an adventure. (vague much? IHM? *sorry*) I first heard about it when Devourer of Books reviewed the book. I've since added it to my to-acquire pile because it sounds like a fun book. You should check out Devourer's review to see if it's something you're interested in!

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