The theme for 2017's World Malaria Day, which is today, April 25, is "End Malaria for Good." For many Americans, this might seem like an odd plea. Especially since Malaria is seemingly an obsolete problem here. However, on World Malaria Day, it's important to remember the danger of malaria is still very much present in the US. And around the world, the disease is at the epicenter of a global crisis.
News: Malaria Eliminated in the US, but Causing a World of Hurt — Know What You Can Do to Protect Yourself When Traveling
While no longer native to the United States, hospitalization from malaria occurs in this country more than most would believe. Why is that, and what can you do to protect yourself when you travel abroad to regions where malaria is active?
You might feel the bite, you might not, but an infected mosquito has injected you with a parasite named Plasmodium falciparum, a single-cell protozoa that quickly takes up residence in your body.
Malaria is a massive worldwide health problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide in 2015 and 429,000 of the infected people died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were 212 million cases of malaria across the world in 2015, and 429,000 of those people died — mostly children living in Africa. Preventing and treating those infections has been a challenging world priority. That makes a new malaria drug discovery — published in Science Translational Medicine — incredibly important.
News: Researchers Discover Key Proteins Malaria Uses to Infect the Liver—A Key Step in Stopping the Parasite
When the mosquito that carries the malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) bites someone, the parasite must travel to the liver where it undergoes part of its lifecycle before infecting red blood cells and spreading to its next host. Until now, the first step of how the parasite gets to the liver hasn't been clear.
News: Bloodsucking Flies Act as 'Flying Syringes' to Detect Malaria & Other Emerging Diseases in Wild Animals
Researchers have been studying the blood meals of flies to understand the flow of infectious pathogens in wild animals.
Watch this video to learn a little about the history of gin & tonic. Tonic water was consumed to prevent malaria in the 18th century. It was extremely bitter, so gin was added to make it more pleasant.
If you have a taste for sweets, you have at least one thing in common with mosquitoes. While too much sugar is unhealthy for humans, a new product makes sweets deadly to mosquitoes.
Alcohol isn't exactly considered a healthy lifestyle choice; more often than not, it's associated with empty calories and bad decisions. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few benefits to drinking in moderation. In fact, gin is a liquor with a wealth of potential benefits to offer. So read on, and discover ten ways in which gin might actually be a good drink for you.
Mosquitoes are a big problem, and citronella candles are not the solution. There are a lot of mosquito species. The American Mosquito Control Association reports there are more than 3000 mosquito species in the world, and about 200 of those occur in the US. The most common are the Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex species. These are also the three mosquito species most likely to transmit serious illness, and all of them live in the US.
News: New Research Shows How Flesh-Eating Leishmania Parasites Hide in Our Bodies to Fight Future Infections
Transmitted by a sandfly one-third the size of a mosquito, parasitic Leishmania protozoa are responsible for a flesh-destroying disease that kills an estimated 20,000 people per year. Two new studies offer understanding of how the parasite provides immunity through persistence and why some people suffer more virulent forms of the disease.
As a part of the already crowded field of diseases transmitted by ticks, you may not know the disease babesiosis, a dangerous infection caused by a parasite that infiltrates blood cells.
All fields of study have their own language. For people interested in learning about microbes, the language can sometimes be downright difficult — but it doesn't need to be. From antibiotics to xerophiles, we have you covered in an easy-to-understand glossary.
Natural remedies used through the ages abound, especially in Asian medicine. The willow-leaved justicia plant, found throughout Southeast Asia, has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, but scientists have just discovered it contains an anti-HIVcompound more potent than AZT. AZT was the first drug approved to treat HIV, and is still used in HIV combination therapy today.
A vaccine against HIV might prevent the disease that we can't seem to cure. Some HIV patients make antibodies that can take down the virus, much the way a vaccine might. But, scientists haven't been able to provoke that type of response in other people. However, in a process that might work in humans, a group of researchers has successfully generated antibodies in cows that neutralize multiple strains of HIV.
Rising on the world stage, dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes — and apparently air travel too.
It is not just a bad summer for ticks — it has been a bad decade for the spread of tick-borne infections. New surveillance from the CDC reports rapid expansion and increase in cases of babesiosis, a sometimes life-threatening disease, in Wisconsin.
We've worked hard to reduce the flow of toxic chemicals into our waterways, which means no more DDT and other bad actors to pollute or destroy wildlife and our health. But one observation has been plaguing scientists for decades: Why are large quantities of one toxic chemical still found in the world's oceans?
News: To Stop Local Measles Outbreaks, International Travelers Need to Get Vaccinated — But Only 47% Do
In the worst measles outbreak in the state since 1990, the Minneapolis Department of Heath races to contain the spread of an infection believed to have originated from an infected traveler. Mistaken attitudes and unvaccinated travelers are creating a world of hurt and disease for Americans. A recent study found that more than half of eligible travelers from the US are electing to skip their pre-trip measles vaccine.
When just floating peacefully in the water with their brood mates, the Culex mosquito larvae in the image above does not look very frightening. But in their adult form, they are the prime vector for spreading West Nile virus — a sometimes mild, sometimes fatal disease.
Our quest to find new antibiotics has taken a turn — a turn down the road, that is. A team of scientists from the University of Oklahoma is scooping up roadkill and searching for bacteria on them that might yield the world's next antibiotic.
Warning: If you are eating and for some reason still decided to click on this article, turn around now. Maui, Hawaii health officials have reported finding at least six cases of angiostrongyliasis, a parasitic lungworm that infects humans. Colloquially, it's known as rat lungworm disease. And if you think that name is awful, just wait until you hear what it does to the human body.
Two viral liver diseases could help us find the path toward the cause of Parkinson's disease. Researchers from the University of Oxford and UCL Institute of Neurology in London have reported an association between hepatitis B and C infections and an increased risk of Parkinson's disease. Their findings were published early online in the journal Neurology.
Somewhere around 600–800 million people in the world are infected with whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), an infection they got from ingesting soil or water contaminated with feces of infected animals or people containing the parasite's eggs.
In the summer of 1976, 4,000 American Legionnaires descended upon the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a four-day convention. Several days later, many of the attendees experienced symptoms of severe pneumonia. By the beginning of August, 22 people had died. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 180 people were sickened and 29 people died before this mysterious outbreak burnt out.
After California college student Luis Ortiz blacked out and was taken to the hospital in 2015, doctors were startled to discover the reason his brain was swelling—a one-centimeter long, wriggling tapeworm living within a ventricle in the middle of his brain.
Whether or not a microbe is successful at establishing an infection depends both on the microbe and the host. Scientists from Duke found that a single DNA change can allow Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, to invade cells. That single genetic variation increased the amount of cholesterol on cell membranes that Salmonella and other bacteria use as a docking station to attach to a cell to invade it. They also found that common cholesterol-lowering drugs protected zebrafi...
Nineteen days ago, several hundred people could have been exposed by a traveler with measles in Nova Scotia, Canada. The next day, someone flying from Minnesota to Nebraska may have spread the measles to other passengers. A couple weeks ago, it's possible that a man and his six-month old child spread the measles in several Seattle-based locations. Authorities are trying to locate persons who may have been in contact with these people. None of the persons with measles were vaccinated. Why?
Tonic water, seltzer water, club soda, and mineral water: these 4 types of "bubbly water" are often, erroneously, used interchangeably. But the truth is that each possesses unique qualities and uses that set them apart from each other.
You may not have heard of visceral leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, or lymphatic filariasis, and there is a reason for that. These diseases, part of a group of infections called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), impact more than a billion people on the planet in countries other than ours. Despite the consolation that these often grotesque illnesses are "out of sight, out of mind," some of these infections are quietly taking their toll in some southern communities of the US.
Laser gun + killing mosquitoes = lots of little boy fun, but what's it all about? Quite possibly the most entertaining, thrilling, and well, downright life-saving presentation at this year's TED conference was Intellectual Ventures' mosquito death ray.
Learn how to protect yourself from one of the most dangerous predators, the mosquito. Mosquitoes spread dengue fever and malaria. Phil West explains the steps and procedures to protect yourself from mosquitoes, using roots and animal dung. Protect against mosquitos.
Scrabble Bingo of the Day: MIASMIC [adj] Miasmic is an adjective for miasm (or miasma), which means a noxious vapor—"bad air" harmful to health. The word miasma comes from the ancient Greek word for pollution. And the concept of bad air also gave rise to the name malaria, from old Italian "mala" (bad) "aria" (air).
Another example of outstanding resourcefulness and ingenuity in the medical community (see earlier this week: Blood Sucking Plunger Could Heal Millions).