Science and Medicine
ASIA/INDIA - MALARIA: CASES REGISTERED WHERE MALARIA WAS HITHERTO UNKNOWN. CONCERN OVER CASES OF UNCLEAR NATURE
Rome (Fides Service) – Hospitals in Manimajra-Chinargarh and Panchkula have recently reported 15 cases of malaria and 25 of an unidentified fever. The cases of malaria come from Burj Kotia a Pinjore. 5 of the 15 patients were affected by malaria carried by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite rarely found in India, which develops rapidly in the human body with symptoms usually within two weeks. The other cases of malaria were caused by the Plasmodium vivax found in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania and America; it can cause infection and weakness but is rarely fatal.
The state of Haryana has borders with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and between May and the end of September the climate allows the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum. The incidence of malaria in the area was less than one case in every 1000 people in the years 1986-1997 and the area is generally considered low risk for malaria. The transmission season in the area is over but the infection could reappear next year.
Nevertheless malaria is practically absent from public and private bio-medical research in industrialised countries. Fifty years ago Europe and the United States still carried out research on this disease which affected some parts of Italy. The introduction of DDT led to a total elimination of malaria in Italy, Europe the United States and other industrialised countries. Unfortunately however, the more developed countries and major pharmaceutical industries fail to invest enough in the prevention and treatment of malaria because it is not a major problem in rich countries. See geographical map of malaria produced by World Health Organisation 2001. (AP) (14/11/2003 Fides Service ; lines:25 wrods:314)
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