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New radical plan to fight malaria

Some leading malaria experts are advocating a radical plan to try to stamp out the disease before resistance to the newest and best treatment drugs grows too widespread. [s]The Guardian[/s] reports that according to a study, malaria parasites resistant to the artemisinin drugs, which have been key to strategies for controlling the disease, are now common in the key border regions of south-east Asia and are likely to move into [b]India[/b]. If they reach Africa, as they inevitably will, the death toll from the disease will soar. Professor Nicholas White, a malaria expert, is leading calls for a last ditch attempt. He is advocating the nuclear option – dosing everyone in malarial endemic regions, whether sick or well, in a bid to stamp out the malaria parasite before the drugs become useless.

The study found no signs yet of resistance in the three [b]African[/b] sites it covered in [b]Kenya, N[b][/b]igeria[/b] and [b]Democratic Republic of the Congo[/b] and White is quoted in a [s]Daily Maverick[/s] report as saying: ‘It may still be possible to prevent the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites across [b]Asia[/b] and then to Africa by eliminating them, but that window of opportunity is closing fast.’ The report says most malaria victims are children under five living in the poorest parts of [b]sub-Saharan Africa[/b].

[link url=http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jul/30/malaria-experts-stamp-out-disease-drug-resistance-africa]Full report in The Guardian[/link]
[link url=http://www.ajtmh.org/content/early/2014/07/22/ajtmh.14-0119]AJTMH abstract[/link]
[link url=http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2014-07-31-drug-resistant-malaria-reaches-southeast-asia-borders-could-spread-to-africa/#.U9uEV-OSzE0]Full Daily Maverick report[/link]

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