Plasmodium: the eukaryotic protist that causes malaria

Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease that is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. It causes disease in approximately 400 million people every year and kills between one and three million people every year, mostly young children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases and an enormous public-health problem. The disease is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. The most serious forms of the disease are caused by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, but other related species (Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae, and sometimes Plasmodium knowlesi) can also infect humans. This group of human-pathogenic Plasmodium species are usually referred to as malaria parasites.

Malaria parasites are transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites multiply within red blood cells, causing symptoms that include symptoms of anemia (light headedness, shortness of breath, tachycardia etc.), as well as other general symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, flu-like illness, and in severe cases, coma and death. Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites with mosquito nets and insect repellents, or by mosquito control by spraying insecticides inside houses and draining standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

Malaria in "News From the Front"Edit

Malaria was one of many diseases American soldiers stranded on the Bataan Peninsula in 1942 had to deal with. The Associated Press reported on this dire situation, which added fueled the anti-war fire burning in the country.

Malaria in "Something Going Around"Edit

Stan, a Germanic languages professor, discussed malaria with parasitic ecologist Indira Patel when they first met. Specifically, Indira told Stan about how malaria could influence the behavior of a host mosquito by preventing the mosquito from producing sufficient anticoagulant, cutting down the blood it ingested and forcing the mosquito to bite more, thereby spreading malaria to numerous hosts.

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