Malaria has been making humans sick for at least one hundred thousand years. It’s caused by parasites with an astonishing capacity to develop resistance to drug treatments. The parasites are transmitted by mosquitos. Every year hundreds of millions of people in tropical regions of the developing world become ill with malaria. Recent World Health Organisation figures indicate upwards of two thousand people a day die of the disease.
The term malaria comes from the Italian mala aria– literally “bad air”. It was once known as ague or marsh fever, due to its association with swamps and marshland. Malaria was once common in North America and Europe – it’s thought to have been a major factor in the fall of the Roman Empire. These days, malaria occurs in or close to the tropics, primarily in developing nations.
There are five known types of malaria parasite and they’re becoming increasingly resistant…
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