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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Malaria.docx

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Plagues and Peoples Textbook Chapter SevenMalaria Another Fever Plague November 9 2010135 Malaria as described by Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinsk in his personal story of Africa Shadow of the Sun states that The first signal of an imminent upcoming attack is a feeling of anxiety which comes on suddenly and for no clear reason This is followed by dullness weakness and heaviness that come over youIf you believe in spirits someone has pronounced a curse and an evil spirit has entered you disabling you Everything is irritating to you the light loud voices of other their smell their rough touch There is a sudden violent onset of cold but a cold like no other because of the tremors vibrations and convulsions tossing you around Malaria is a fever plague and this disease has killed more than half the people who have ever lived on this planet It still kills today every 10 seconds a person dies of malariamostly children under the age of 5 living in Africa The total number of cases of malaria is estimated to be 300 million to 500 million with only 10 occurring outside of Africa 2 to 3 million deaths are caused by malaria yearly Malaria infections are on the rise and as the fever spreads it will continue to affect us A Look Back 136 The antiquity of human malaria is reflected by record in Ebers papyrus 1570 BC in clay tablets from the library of King Ashurbanipal and in the classic Chinese medical text the Nei Chang 2700 BC Record describe typically enlarged spleen periodic fevers headache chills and fever Malaria came to Europe from Africa via the Nile Valley or by means of closer contact between Europeans and the people of Asia Minor In Of the Epidemics Hippocrates described the 2 types of malaria 1 One with recurrent fevers every third day benign tertian 2 Another with fevers on the fourth day quartanThere is clear evidence of the presence of this malaria in the Roman Republic by 200 BC Condition was called Roman Fever because it was so prevalent in the marshland of the Roman Campagna It was believed that this fever recurred during the sickly summer season due to vapors emanating from the marshes it was called by the Italian name malaria literally bad air thth Reached Spain and Russian by 12 century and England by the 14 century Malaria was brought to New World by European explorers and African slaves By 1800s it was found worldwide October 20 1880 Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran a physician in the French Legion in Algeria examined a drop of blood taken from a soldier suffering with malaria fever under the microscope He found RBC containing blackbrown malaria pigment and mobile filaments emerging from clear spherical bodies a process he called exflagellation He also found that some malaria patients had blood cells shaped like crescents In effect he found an animal parasite with different developmental stagesRonald Ross was a doctor who was more interested in arts and language In 1894 Dr Patrick Manson proposed to Ross a theory that suggested that mosquitoes carry malaria and they suck the blood from people infected with malaria die and fall into water others drink the water and die of malaria This was mostly a romantic story and a guess on Dr Mansons partRoss took it as a fact He fed mosquito water to volunteers and they did not get malaria therefore he theorized that malaria is given to people by the bite of mosquitoes that are infected He experimented with this but found no results because he used the wrong type of mosquitoes he used Culex gray mosquitoes and Aedes striped wings both of which do not carry human malaria He should have used the brown spottedwinge mosquito Anopheles He wrote a poem to his wife about his findings In Calcultta there were not many patients with malaria so he concentrated on malaria in birds pigeons crows larks and sparrowsRoss provided proof that malaria was not caused by bad air or eating mosquitoes but instead by being bit by infected mosquitoes German government funded scientists under Robert Koch who thought he found the agent of malaria which he named Bacillus malariaebut which he later discarded because it could not be grown in labsRoss then correctly recognized that Anopheles mosquitoes are carry malaria and that the life cycle in the human was similar to that of the bird malaria that he had earlier studied Ross demolished Kochs theory and stated It is not the mosquitos children but only the mosquito who herself bites a malaria suffererit is only that mosquito who can give malaria to healthy people
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