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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Map study finds vivax malaria has firm grip in Asia

Via Reuters :

" Progress is being made in the fight against the most common form of malaria in Africa, but a long-lasting type of the mosquito-borne parasitic disease has a tight grip on swathes of South Asia and parts of Latin America, scientists said Monday.

In a new global map of the plasmodium vivax malaria parasite, researchers from Britain's Oxford University found the disease -- which is often recurring and can be deadly -- is endemic in substantial parts of the world.

"This map helps us understand just how difficult it is going to be to eradicate malaria," said Peter Gething, who led Oxford's Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) study.

"Unfortunately, the tools for fighting this type of malaria range from ineffective to non-existent."

Vivax is not as deadly as the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite that is most common in Africa and causes most of the around 800,000 malaria deaths a year, but it is more common with some 2.85 billion people across the world at risk.

It also has a unique ability to relapse by hiding in the liver for months or years, making it harder to detect and cure."

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