DDT and malaria - Essay Example

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Malaria and DDT There are several diseases that are common in warm and tropical environments. One such disease is malaria. Malaria is a contagious disease that affects humans, caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium, which is spread through the bites of the infected mosquitoes…
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DDT and malaria
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Download file to see previous pages The disease is common in subtropical and tropical regions including a lot of Americas, Asia, and the Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is very common in these regions since they have reliable hot temperatures and large amounts of rainfall. Since mosquitos live in a warm environment with consistent temperatures, they breed continuously in the aforementioned areas. Significance of Malaria Malaria is one of the major contagious diseases in tropical environments and a huge public health disaster. It has been ranked the leading cause of death in the world where almost five million new cases are identified, with deaths of two point seven million annually according to Glaser and Knight (2007). Historically, malaria has infected humans since the creation of mankind. Malaria has not spared is victims despite of their status and position, the American President John Adams for example nearly succumbed to malaria while on a diplomatic mission in Amsterdam. It was until the nineteenth century that facts about the real cause of malaria became known. So far despite this knowledge, malaria continues to grossly affect the populations of south East Asia, sub-Saharan, and Latin America its victims manly comprising pregnant women and young children (McConnell, 2006). Malaria causing mosquitoes are known to breed in swamy areas or areas that have stagnant waters where they lay their eggs. The Plasmodium parasite apart from infecting humans, also affects reptiles, birds, rodents, chimpanzees and monkeys. Plasmodium enters the bloodstream and damages the red blood cells as well as affecting the spleen, kidney, liver, and other vital body organs. Malaria has other names like falcipurum malaria, quartan malaria, black water fever, plasmodium, and tertian malaria. Thus malaria parasites are transmitted by female anopheles mosquitoes (Capinera, 2008). Information on the economic workload of malaria is needed to focus interventions equitably and efficiently, and to establish investment in control and research of how to combat the disease. Treatment of malaria is costly its asociated expenses a burden to the victims. Many institutions use weak data to estimate indirect costs, which fail to account for seasonal variations, the difference between the marginal and average product of labour, and the means firms and households survive in response to the illness period. Impact of DDT There are several measures used in combating malaria including use of insecticides, mosquito nets and medication that fight the disease. One product that has been used for a long to in fighting malaria is DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). DDT is a synthetic pesticide invented in 1874. DDT opens sodium ion paths in the neurons of insects enabling them to fire suddenly which results to eventual deaths spasms. However, in humans it affects the health through endocrine disruption or genotoxicity. Genotoxic substances are recognized to be potentially carcinogenic or mutagenic, particularly those capable of causing genetic mutation and of contributing to the growth of swellings as noted by Miller and Spoolman (2008). DDT may be directly genotoxic, although it may also make enzymes generate other genotoxic intermediates. It is also an endocrine disruptor in that it act as an ant androgen. According to Roberts and Tren (2010), the remains of DDT on the walls of the houses can change the transmission mode of mosquitoes. The non contact repellant action of DDT remains can stop a malaria mosquito from entering the house. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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