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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Malaria

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Plagues and Peoples Textbook: Chapter Seven Malaria, Another Fever Plague November 9, 2010. (135) 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 you. - If 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 malaria mostly 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 (quartan). - There 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. th th - 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 black-brown 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 stages. - Ronald 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 part Ross 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, spotted-winge 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 sparrows). - Ross provided proof that malaria was not caused by bad air or eating mosquitoes, but instead by being bit by infected mosquitoes. www.notesolution.com
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