Mar
05
2008

Red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum: This thin film Giemsa stained micrograph reveals ring-forms, and gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum.
Red blood cells infected with Plasmodium falciparum: This thin film Giemsa stained micrograph reveals ring-forms, and gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum.Courtesy cdc

  • Malaria is both preventable and curable.
  • A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.
  • More than one million people die of malaria every year, mostly infants, young children and pregnant women and most of them in Africa.

A recent article in the NY Times discussed if it is possible to eliminate malaria. They need more money, better health systems and a vaccine. Some experts feel the big push to eradicate malaria is counterproductive or even dangerous. Dr. Arata Kochi, the W.H.O. malaria chief stated in the article that, “… enough money, current tools like nets, medicines and DDT could drive down malaria cases 90 percent. But eliminating the last 10 percent is a tremendous task and very expensive.” He doesn’t want people to have false hope.

A new vaccine
In spite of the debate, research is progressing to reach the goal of eliminating malaria. The Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (SBRI) is home to one of the largest malaria research programs in the United States. SBRI's Malaria Program is focused on vaccine discovery for malaria during pregnancy, severe malaria in children and liver-stage malaria. SBRI scientists are working on a vaccine that uses genetic engineering to render malaria parasites harmless. According to an article in the Seattle Times SBRI is looking for volunteers to be bitten by malaria-infected mosquitoes to aid in the quest for new vaccines and drugs. Scientists will analyze blood from the human volunteers to learn more about the body's immune response to the disease.

What do we do?
Economists believe that malaria is responsible for a ‘growth penalty’ of up to 1.3% per year in some African countries. When compounded over the years, this penalty leads to substantial differences in GDP between countries with and without malaria and severely restrains the economic growth of the entire region. Malaria costs Africa $12 billion every year in lost productivity alone.

What do you think? Where should we be putting our resources?

  • Developing a vaccine (the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation alone has spent $258 million
  • More money to distribute long-lasting insecticidal nets (each net costs $5-7)
  • Mosquito control with indoor residual spraying like DDT (costs nearly $4 per person)
  • Getting effective drug treatments to the infected (effective therapy costs $2.40 for a round of treatment)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

jeff4truth:

look up what was used to CURE malaria 100 years ago, and stop spending money on bogus research now.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:26am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Nothing has ever cured malaria.

posted on Mon, 03/10/2008 - 4:25pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Unless you're cryptically referring to cinchona bark, a.k.a quinine?

Quinine is used in many parts of the world to treat (not "cure") malaria, but in some places the parasites are resistant. Also, according to Wikipedia,

"Symptoms of mild cinchonism (which may occur from standard therapeutic doses of quinine) include flushed and sweaty skin, ringing of the ears (tinnitus), blurred vision, impaired hearing, confusion, reversible high-frequency hearing loss, headache, abdominal pain, rashes, lichenoid photosensitivity [1], vertigo, dizziness, dysphoria (feeling uneasy), nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.

Large doses of quinine may lead to severe symptoms of cinchonism: skin rashes, deafness (reversible), somnolence, diminished visual acuity or blindness, anaphylactic shock, and disturbances in cardiac rhythm or conduction, death from cardiotoxicity. Quinine overdose can also result in a rare form of hypersensitivity reaction termed blackwater fever that results in massive hemolysis, hemoglobinemia, hemoglobinuria, and renal failure.

Patients treated with quinine may also suffer from hypoglycemia (especially if administered intravenously) and hypotension (low blood pressure). In very high doses (higher than those used to treat malaria) during the first trimester of pregnancy quinine may act as an abortifacient, or cause birth defects, especially deafness."

So it's not exactly a miracle cure-all...

posted on Mon, 03/10/2008 - 8:41pm
Katy's picture
Katy says:

Well if you have malaria, and you go to a doctor right away, they might be able to run ur fever down, and help you have a chance of not dying!! Go look harder!!

posted on Wed, 06/25/2008 - 1:10am
flinch619's picture
flinch619 says:

im all for eliminating diseases, your trippin

BOOYAKASHA!

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:42am
Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

I WANT TO ELIMATE ALL DISEASES TO DUH.. I DON'T THINK AMERICA WANTS TO DO IT BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE ALL THE MONEY IS... YOUR TRIPPIN

Have a great day

Sponsered in part by
IM AWESOME Productions

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:19am
Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

That's really sad that children die every 30 seconds from this. I know this is in Africa where they don't have good medicine and stuff but you think they would at least want to keep the kids alive so they can be the future of Africa. Or at least Amercia would want to helpHave a great day

Sponsered in part by
IM AWESOME Productions

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

it is sad its really sad

posted on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 4:24pm
nelson.robin's picture
nelson.robin says:

i think they need more money to i think what they are doin is good

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:50am
Looney_Tooney's picture
Looney_Tooney says:

WoW!!
Every 30 seconds...
That's not good...
So am I still able to get this or what??

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:50am
LEE's picture
LEE says:

A child dies every 30 seconds? That's so sad. Hopefully all these researching can actually find a cure to help.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:56am
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

funding is cruital but were do we get it from is the problem

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:57am
shanee's picture
shanee says:

Thats really cool, to be able to stop a deadly disease. But umm i thought that we already have a certain cure for it already, or maybe not a cure but a vaccine.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 10:57am
Laurie's picture
Laurie says:

There are drugs available to treat malaria. But more and more of the parasites are immune to the standard (and cheap) treatment. The trick now is getting the more expensive but effective treatment to the people who need it most. Many can't afford the newer drug treatment or they don't have access to it. Another problem is counterfeit drugs. People think they are getting treated but the drugs they bought are little more than sugar pills.

Scientists are working on an effective vaccine.

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 2:17pm
porscha2008's picture
porscha2008 says:

the government should support this because it is eliminating another problem... and if they can't afford to do the research the government should be the first at their feet to help. do they actuall want kids to keep dieing.....every thirty seconds think about it. two kids die a minute.....if one kid dies every thirty seconds then 120 kids die an hour so 1440 kids die a day.......that is very sad.........i feel for everyone that goes through this.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:02am
BLB's picture
BLB says:

Man! the statistic for malaria is scary. and i think what bill gates and his wife is doing a great thing, due to their wealth. $258 million is a big chunk of money for anyone, its just a fraction for him. And UNFORTUNATELY its just a fraction of the $12 BILLION Africa loses every year alone, in lost productivity. That's sad man.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:07am
hmoob_muas's picture
hmoob_muas says:

30 sec, thats very sad!!!=( =( how can we help??

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:14am
Laurie's picture
Laurie says:

Check out this previous Science Buzz story for one thing you can do to help.

posted on Mon, 03/17/2008 - 10:43am
hawa's picture
hawa says:

I think that what Doctors are saying that they need more money and others material to help children and others especially in Africa there lots of people who suffer from malaria because they don't have medical care.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:15am
Jefflemus00's picture
Jefflemus00 says:

Noooo! That means that someone just died as I was typing this comment.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:17am
Twila's picture
Twila says:

This would be really nice to cure something that a lot of people die from. First it's this then cancer.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 11:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

jeff4truth

Look up shirleys wellness cafe for how to prevent mal....

also,

how did the SECOND engineer ELIMIANATE MALARIA AND YALLOW FVR

WITHOUT DRUGS ??? (oy - on the PANAMA CANAL BEING BUILT.)

- wiped out TWO VERY CONTAGIOUS DISEASES WITHOUT DRUGS !!!!!

and try to find the town in india where they used to get malaria every year - but it was not fatal - just barely a nuisance; NO ONE GOT CANCER THERE -

until ,
yes,
until they eliminated MALARIA (WITHOUT A DRUG),

now, they don't get malaria, but they do get cancer, which does cost more for them and is sometimes fatal.

How come you all don't know maureen salaman and Carey Reams ?

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 6:41am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Yellow fever and malaria were defeated in these cases by killing the mosquitoes that carry the diseases.

Do you have a cite for these towns in India?

It would not be surprising to see cancer rates go up after malaria rates go down. Cancer generally takes a long time to become fatal, and usually kills people late in life. Malaria can kill at any time, but is especially dangerous to children. Wipe out malaria, and those children live to be a ripe old age, when they die of something else...such as cancer.

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 2:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

jeff4truth

hmmmm, yet, if, instead of malaria (which results in fever)

a 101 degree bath under medical or other competent supervision as needed

is administered

as it is done often in Europe according to quite a large or small number of people,

ta da ! .....

oh, I forgot to mention: the big tall cncr clinic in eastern oklahoma uses this same method....

it is a simple and well known medical fact that cncr cells cannot survive a fever or body temperature elevated to 101 , either way....

quite elegant and simple, eh ?

the referal to the town(s) in India are not really very hard to find - just don't expect someone who will lose both face and money to 'fess up too quick.

I am quite sure that about 3 percent of the readers of this post will find it.
The other 97 percent, oh well. (for now)

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 11:00pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I have lost several family members to cancer. I believe I can state categorically that a hot shower or a mild fever will NOT cure the disease.

If you have a reference for an actual medical study, we can discuss this. Otherwise, we must dismiss it as the nonsense it is.

You have a habit of making oblique references to "towns in India" and "clinic in eastern Oklahoma," without naming them or offering citations. I must conclude that they are as phony as your cancer "cure."

posted on Sun, 03/09/2008 - 10:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If it is a well known fact that cancer cells die at a temperature of above 101 degrees then why is cancer still prevalent in the world. Learn how to spell and type out the full word.

posted on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 10:16am
Laurie's picture
Laurie says:

Here is a comment from John - a teacher in the Seattle area after he read the article in the Seattle Times mentioned in the story above:

This is cool - crazy but cool. Having worked around you scientific types enough I guess I'm crazy enough to even be a part of the trials - seems scarier than when I did a flu vaccine study though. In all seriousness, to get more details about the possible enrollee part I just emailed the malaria trial address you listed.

I think it can be a great story for future students to realize that science (and math) is serious enough business that we have to be very confident in what we're doing... and being a participant would go a long way in my emphasizing that you "students" need to get very good at your math and science because lives are truly on the line sometimes. I know this really isn't that dramatic personally as if I lived in Africa, but it's also no small thing either to willingly risk getting a bit sick for even a day or so.

Scientific American News reported on this new malaria vaccine clinical trial too.

Would you volunteer for this study even if you might actually get malaria?

posted on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 10:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

jeff4truth

re flu vaccine

see via goooooogle "ayoub mercury"
and world population control (unwilling)

and spanish flu epidemic (thousands die from vaccne - why was that covrd up?)

posted on Sat, 03/08/2008 - 12:37pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Hmmmm.

Let's see: the "Spanish flu" epidemic occurred in 1918. The flu vaccine first became available in 1945. In 1918, no one knew what a virus was, much less how to prevent a viral infection on a big scale. So I think it's pretty safe to say that the flu vaccine did not cause the 1918 flu epidemic. And it's probably not a cover up...

Then, just for giggles, I did search Google for "ayoub mercury." I found many, many postings of the same two articles, neither of which are peer reviewed. And then I found this on the Left Brain/Right Brain Autism News and Opinion website:

"I first remember hearing the name David Ayoub on the website of Erik’s FAIR Autism Media where Ayoub is listed as the Medical Director. One would suppose that the Medical Director of an autism organisation that believes thiomersal causes autism would be an expert in either autism or maybe toxicology. In actual fact, Ayoub is neither. He’s a Radiologist.

David Ayoub, MD, is a radiologist at the Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois.

So what does Radiology have to do with autism? Well, nothing.

What medical skills could Ayoub, as a trained Radiologist, bring to the field of autism? None.

No matter, maybe Ayoub has published some good science about autism or mercury?

Well, no – Ayoub MD, has (count ‘em) five entries on PubMed, none of which touch on either autism or mercury. His last paper (on digital imaging) was published in 1997.

Whilst the irony of having a trained radiologist on the board of directors of an organisation that seems to think radiology is not necessary to diagnose Precocious Puberty is at least marginally amusing, what’s more amusing is the Ayoub Wikipedia entry. It’s written in breathlessly idolising fashion – headings are entitled ‘Track and field phenom’, ‘Science Prodigy’ and ‘Vaccine education crusader’. This is the online CV of a real ‘trier’, I think you’ll agree. Only a ‘Science Prodigy’ like Dr Ayoub could become Medical Director and ‘Vaccine education crusader’ at an organisation that specialises in subjects he knows nothing, medically speaking, about.

Not the most convincing evidence, Jeff4Truth.

posted on Mon, 03/10/2008 - 9:55am
diamond2008's picture
diamond2008 says:

that's really sad to know!!!

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 10:23am
Aboubacarr FS Drammeh's picture
Aboubacarr FS Drammeh says:

When some part of the world is fighting hunger and the other part is fighting obesity.
What are our priorities
When will the west realize that War and Obesity is not the priority
Unless and until the western world (USA and UK) make it a priority
Every 30seconds a child died from Malaria

posted on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 6:16pm
Don @ His Nets's picture

Whatever else can be done, one thing is certain. Long-lasting, insecticidal mosquito bed nets (LLINs) work - and can protect an entire sleeping family for up to 5 years at a cost of $6.00.

We give away as many as we can obtain, paying our own travel expenses as volunteers to travel to Ghana, Kenya, DR Congo, Angola, Liberia and others. In 2007, our small group of 30 volunteers gave out nearly 21,000 LLINs. [visit us at hisnets.org]

Our motto: "One net at a time".

Our inspiration: " We cannot do everything - and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well! It may be incomplete - but it is a beginning, a step along the way, An opportunity for the Lord's Grace to step in and do the rest" [Arch. Oscar Romero]

posted on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 1:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i hope they find a cure to help children and adults......X_>

posted on Wed, 04/02/2008 - 3:32pm
FSX's picture
FSX says:

I think we should put our money into all of that. One solution alone will never solve anything.

posted on Sun, 05/18/2008 - 2:02pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Blogress Little Miss Attila looks at the arguments both sides are using in the DDT debate and asks, can't we all just get along?

posted on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:48am
Hamza's picture
Hamza says:

1 I think to give the first priority to control the population,then more important their education to not depend on others.to prepare the drainage system.and other facilities
.
2 to control the malaria,they need electric power fans are running from wend power,sun power or other way.
3 Use the oil on skin when sleeping the drill of mosquitoes make slippery.
4 Need some bats night birds or other spices which are eating mosquitoes
5 treatment

posted on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 9:56pm
Queenie's picture
Queenie says:

i think all deseases should be eliminated too! thats why wen i become a pharmasist, i plan to find as many cures as possible!!! but i do think it should be a cure for malaria.

posted on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 4:34pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The government of Malawi in Africa has decided to start using DDT to combat the mosquitoes that carry malaria.

posted on Sat, 07/17/2010 - 3:04am

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