07
Dec
11

Malaria

Malaria is a parasitic mosquito-borne disease that that is carried through the blood stream. It is caused by the transfer of the parasite genus Plasmodium.

Malaria globally had 225 million infected as of 2009 according to the WHO. Of these cases there were just 780 000 deaths 90% of which were in Africa. Many of the Infections in africa occur in children when the disease it passed on from their mothers while still in the womb. Most children who die from malaria are under the age of five.

The Plasmodium parasite multiples within the red blood cells in the host and causes fever and flu like symptoms along with a headache. In worse cases the disease can worsen and even lead to comas and death. The Plasmodium parasite has more than a single variant, in fact it has about five variants making malaria more widespread and diverse. Four out of the five variants are not fatal (although harmful) to the host while the last is almost always deadly. Symptoms occur when cells burst and parasites infect bloodstream directly in mass numbers.

The Variants are as follows:

1. Plasmodium falciparum: The deadliest and often fatal strand of the disease. This strand is most commonly found in African countries where close to 75% of all infections are from P. falciparum.

2. Plasmodium vivax: Most common and widely spread malaria strand, not a serious strand and is seldom fatal. Is a recurring strand of the disease (you can catch it a second time). It  reproduces both                                                                                                                                                                               sexually and asexually making it a fast generator and regenerator.

 3. Plasmodium ovale: Very similar to P. vivax although not nearly as common and slightly more lethal. Is limited to areas such as West Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New guinea.

4. Plasmodium malariae: Also very similar to to P. Vivax this strand of malaria is also less common.

5. Plasmodium knowlesi: Rarest strand of Plasmodium and is more commonly found in macaques although it is also transferrable to humans.

Mosquitos are the main disease carrier of Malaria, the anopheles genus of mosquitoes is the carrier for the disease. These mosquitos live in generally warmer and tropical climates which is why Canada does not see many cases of Malaria. The Anopheles genus has over 400 different species respectively, about 100 of which may carry malaria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anopheles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasmodium

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