Malaria - Research Paper


Research Paper- Malaria
Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that lives both in mosquitoes and humans (9). Malaria lives in tropical and sub-tropical areas such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Haiti, India, The Dominican Republic, Africa, Papua New Guinea, and Central and South America (3). Malaria is one of the largest diseases around the world. About one out of every 20 people on earth, almost 300 million people, suffer from malaria yearly. Almost 2 million of those 300 million people die each year. Many new drugs are being tested to prevent malaria but no sure vaccine has been discovered (1).
Malaria has terrorized this earth since the mid-Pleistocene age. No one knows just when malaria showed up in the Western Hemisphere however. Many say that malaria roamed the New World before the Europeans came over. Yet others will tell you that the Western Hemisphere had no contact with malaria until the end of the fifteenth century. Many other diseases similar in destruction as malaria were brought over from the old world from Europe and Africa (5). Malaria limited colonization all over the world. West Africa and Northern Australia were major hot spot for malaria attacks during the colonization of those areas. Malaria also resulted in many casualties in wars form Ancient Greece to Vietnam and present (2). The Old World supposedly gave malaria to the New World. However, the New World found the first effective treatment for the disease. In 1632, a piece of bark form a Peruvian Tree was taken to Europe by a Spanish priest. The bark was soon found to be a remedy to the constant fevers. Malaria was extremely active in Ancient Rome and Europe. However, it is proven that the malaria back then was much less destructive than it has been in recent centuries. This is because P. falciparum, the most deadly type of malaria, was not present back in Ancient Europe. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the History of malaria is unknown for quite some time in Ancient Europe. It was not until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that malaria became a problem again in Europe. The Netherlands, southern Scandinavia, Poland and Russia all experienced malaria terror. Ronald Ross was the first man to reveal the development of the malarial parasite in the mosquito (5).
The new era of malariology came in the last two decades of the nineteenth century (5). Earlier theories on malaria included an idea by Alphonse Laveran in 1880, who claimed that malaria came form the mud. Malaria was often thought of as coming form bad air as well. No one knew what it cam from, they just new it was present in swamps were there was mud and bad air. However, this new era included the idea that parasites were the root to malaria. This idea is what Ronald Ross had explained. (2). This new era led to the new ideas for malaria control, which took place in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century. Malaria control was strengthened in the 1930's when synthetic antimalarials. They were very useful in the treatment of malaria. In the 1940's DDT was introduced. This was the first pesticide to be used in order to kill mosquitoes (5). This new pesticide led people to believe that with the right malaria control they could wipe out malaria. DDT was extremely successful especially in India where a DDT spraying program brought malaria cases down by thousands in 1950. Then the mosquitoes became immune to DDT, DDT became expensive, and India had a great big problem all over again. From 1920 to 1950 antibiotics were the most widely used and best treatment for malaria. Since then, no new history has been made. The US Government continues to spend very low income on malaria research and we still have a malaria problem today (2).
There are four kinds of malaria that infect humans. P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae are the four diseases humans are endanger of getting. The most severe of them all is P. falciparum. P. falciparum has horrible effects. The effects include fever and chills occurring at irregular intervals. P. vivax is the most common parasite in the world. P. vivax's effects include recurrent fevers known as