Malaria - Microbiology February 18, 2006 The Many Faces of...

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Microbiology February 18, 2006 The Many Faces of Malaria Malaria is one of the world’s leading causes of death. Each year more than a million deaths are attributed to Malaria, with 90% of these deaths coming from sub- Saharan Africa 1 . This disease is difficult to treat because the affected areas have a poor health care structure and the strains are becoming increasingly resistant to the common methods of treatment 2 . Some of the symptoms of malaria infection are fever, joint pain, shaking, and headaches. This parasite affects children primarily, because in the high transmission areas, people are infected on a regular basis and can build immunity to the parasite. Children have not yet built the immunity to the parasite so they are at risk until their bodies’ adapt 2 . Women who are pregnant also run a higher risk from malaria because their immune system is compromised due to the mechanisms of pregnancy 2 . The disease malaria has been known for some time in those high transmission areas of Asia and Africa. In the times before the cause was known, malaria was thought to be caused by bad air or swamp gas, mal-air-ia. Despite the fact that the direct cause was unknown, the treatments devised by the ancient civilizations were quite effective and its derivatives are still used today 2 . A bitter bark of Cinchona ledgeriana was used in Peru before the 15 th century and its active ingredient quinine is still used today. The worldwide problem of malaria has been studied for some time.
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2008 for the course HSCI 3320 taught by Professor Mustain during the Spring '06 term at East Tennessee State University.

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Malaria - Microbiology February 18, 2006 The Many Faces of...

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