Tag Archives | Malaria

Mysterious Drop In Mosquito Numbers

Photo: Arthur Chapman (CC)

Photo: Arthur Chapman (CC)

Is this a good or a bad thing? Incidents of malaria are reduced, but there are less people to test treatment on. Via BBC News:

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are disappearing in some parts of Africa, but scientists are unsure as to why.

Figures indicate controls such as anti-mosquito bed nets are having a significant impact on the incidence of malaria in some sub-Saharan countries.

But in Malaria Journal, researchers say mosquitoes are also disappearing from areas with few controls.

They are uncertain if mosquitoes are being eradicated or whether they will return with renewed vigour.

Data from countries such as Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia all indicate that the incidence of malaria is dropping fast.

[Continues at BBC News]

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New Way To Fight Malaria: Take Pill That Kills Mosquitos After First Bite

Armigeres_subalbatus_mosquitoMalaria is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes. Many communities in Africa and Asia best treatment is in prevention, using insect repellents and nets to sleep in and. This inexpensive deworming pill kills the mosquito once it bites a human who has consumed the medicine, reducing the number of mosquitoes able to pass disease amongst inhabitants. Via The New York Times:

Scientists have proposed an intriguing new way to fight malaria: turning people into human time bombs for mosquitoes.

A cheap deworming pill used in Africa for 25 years against river blindness was recently shown to have a power that scientists had long suspected but never before demonstrated in the field: When mosquitoes bite people who have recently swallowed the drug — called ivermectin or Mectizan — they die.

Other scientists caution that while the mosquito-poisoning trick is pretty nifty, it is not very practical: For it to work effectively, nearly everyone in a mosquito-infested area must take the pills simultaneously.

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Vaccines For AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Herpes

The AP reports (question: why is it that vaccines are suddenly front page news every day?):

Malaria. Tuberculosis. Alzheimer’s disease. AIDS. Pandemic flu. Genital herpes. Urinary tract infections. Grass allergies. Traveler’s diarrhea. You name it, the pharmaceutical industry is working on a vaccine to prevent it.

Many could be on the market in five years or less.

Contrast that with five years ago, when so many companies had abandoned the vaccine business that half the U.S. supply of flu shots was lost because of factory contamination at one of the two manufacturers left.

Vaccines are no longer a sleepy, low-profit niche in a booming drug industry. Today, they’re starting to give ailing pharmaceutical makers a shot in the arm.

The lure of big profits, advances in technology and growing government support has been drawing in new companies, from nascent biotechs to Johnson & Johnson. That means recent remarkable strides in overcoming dreaded diseases and annoying afflictions likely will continue…

[more at AP]

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