Fears are being raised across South East Asia due to what has been described as “super malaria” is spreading across much of the continent.
Scientists claim the rapid spread of the disease could become a global threat if something is not done to curb the problem soon.
Mosquitoes are the culprits when it comes to distributing malaria, as they feed on blood. But infection is more often than not, treated using drugs. However this super malaria is immune to all known treatments and raising serious concerns amongst scientists.
This form of the disease, was first discovered in Cambodia but has spread like wildfire through Laos, Vietnam and even parts of Thailand.
A specialist team from the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok said that “there is possibility that the disease could become untreatable”.
Speaking to a reporter at the BBC, Professor Arjen Dondorp described the latest strain of malaria “as a serious threat”.
“We are alarmed at the rate this strain is spreading and it could become a global problem, should a treatment not be found.”
Malaria infects over 200 million people each year and claims the lives of many children. The current drugs used to treat the disease, Artemisinin and Piperaquine are proving ineffective against this latest strain, meaning at present, little can be done to cure infected people.
It is believed that medication is failing on at least a third of patients in Vietnam but in Cambodia the figure is much higher, coming in at around 60% lack of success.
The big concern is that this current version could spread to Africa with catastrophic results as most of the recorded outbreaks of malaria occur there.
Governing bodies in South East Asia are working against the clock in their bid to eliminate malaria before disaster strikes. Failure to do so, could see the death of millions of people by 2050 it is claimed.
Source : BBC
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