Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Curbing Malaria Spread With Cell Phone Data

From the 14 October 2012 Medical News Today article 

 

Cell phone records may be a valuable source of data that if used correctly, could help control and eliminate malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers from the USA and Kenya reported in the journal Science.

Even though malaria-carrying mosquitoes do not fly very far, the disease still manages to spread over very long distances. Infected humans can carry malaria to faraway places rapidly; as fast as a plane or car can take them. A significant percentage of infected humans have no symptoms; they can unwittingly be carrying the parasite during their travels and infecting hundreds of other people.

Humans do not infect other humans directly. An infected human may arrive to a new area and be bitten by an malaria-free mosquito. The human infects that mosquito. The mosquito, now infected, bites another person – and the disease spreads on and on…..

Malaria’s ability to spread rapidly makes it a challenging infection to eliminate, especially in parts of the world with limited resources for health care. Sub-Saharan Africa, where Malaria is endemic, is a huge area with very limited resources.

Of the one million people who die from malaria each year globally, 90% are children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, earlier this year revealed thatmalaria incidence and mortality globally was much higher than experts had thought. The disease threatens 3 billion people around the world.

A team of researchers in Kenya has demonstrated how cell phone records may be utilized to identify regions that should be targeted in order to optimize malaria control and elimination efforts…

English: Life cycle of malaria, NIH, http://hi...

English: Life cycle of malaria, NIH, http://history.nih.gov/exhibits/bowman/SSmalaria.htm not very many people have lived through Malaria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

October 15, 2012 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , ,

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