Search This Blog

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Malaria

The term malaria originates from Medieval Italian: mala aria—"bad air"; the disease was formerly called ague or marsh fever due to its association with swamps and marshland.

The first record of malaria-like symptoms occurred as early as 2700 BC from China.

Mosquito netting has a long history. It is said that Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, slept under a mosquito net.

By No machine-readable author provided. Soman assumed (based on copyright claims). Wikipedia Commons

Malaria plagued most of Europe and North America for centuries when the climate allowed mosquitoes to thrive. It is no longer endemic, though imported cases do occur.

Malaria may have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire and was so pervasive in Rome that it was known as the "Roman fever".


Gin and tonic was created in the 1800s when gin was mixed with water and sugar to mask the bitter anti-malaria ingredient quinine.

In the 1850s British explorer Sir Richard Burton called Somalis superstitious for believing mosquitoes caused malaria

After studying bacteriology in London in the late 1880s, British physician Sir Ronald Ross (May 13, 1857 – September 16, 1932), returned to Calcutta, India, where his father had served as a British army officer. Intrigued by the theory that mosquitoes transmitted malaria, Ross undertook an investigation of the long-known disease. Using birds that were already sick with malaria, Ross located in 1897 the malaria parasite in the spotted winged Anopheles mosquito. He revealed that the ailment is carried in the mosquito's salivary glands and transferred to healthy birds through biting them.

Ronald Ross By Unknown - Wikipedia Commons

The last British case was in 1953 in Stockwell, South London, possibly from mosquitoes in a stagnant water tank.

Tu Youyou (b December 30, 1930), a woman with no medical degree, anonymously found the cure for Plasmodium falciparum malaria  in 1977—38 years later, she was given the Nobel Prize. Tu says she was influenced by a traditional Chinese herbal medicine source, The Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments, written in 340 by Ge Hong.

Tu Youyou (right) and her teacher Lou Zhicen (left) in 1951

Scientists say malaria could return to Europe and North America thanks to the increasingly warm weather and the fact that it can be spread by several native species.

Some scientists believe that one out of every two people who have ever lived have died of malaria.

Malaria clinic in Tanzania. By Olympia Wereko-Brobby - Saving Lives with SMS for Life,Wikipedia Commons

Only certain species of Anopheles mosquito can transmit malaria – and they must be female.

During a TED talk about Malaria, Bill Gates opened a jar full of mosquitoes onstage so the audience would be able to empathize better.

If malaria was eradicated, 627,000 deaths would be avoided each year—77% of which would be children under five.

Source Daily Mail

No comments:

Post a Comment