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Diseases - Term Paper Example

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In spite of the advances in the understanding of how malaria is caused, spread, and effects the human body, Malaria still remains a serious public health problem, affecting nearly 2.4 billion or forty percent of the population of the world, emphasis on countries in the tropical…
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The parasitic protozoa species of the plasmodium genus is responsible for malaria in humans making it the vector for transmission of malaria. The primary mode of transmission of the infection is through the bite of a female anopheles species of mosquito. Severe malaria that can lead to severe morbidity or even death is normally attributed to Plasmodium falciparum. Though malaria can also be transmitted during blood transfusion or between mother and child during pregnancy, these modes of transmission are found to occur rarely. (2).
The plasmodia are present in the saliva of the infected anopheles mosquito and pass it on to the human host at the time of drawing blood from the human as its meal. The plasmodia target the red blood cells and enter them and use the hemoglobin and other proteins in the cells for nutrition. This results in RBC cystoloysis leading to the toxic metabolic byproducts entering the blood stream and producing the symptoms of malaria, which resemble flu and include chills, headache, myalgias, and malaise. Jaundice, anemia and kidney failure are the more severe results of malaria, which can progress to coma and death. The more severe consequences of malaria can be avoided through proper treatment. (2).
Chloroquine phosphate remains the drug of choice in the treatment of malaria. (2). However the treatment of malaria is not easy because of resistance to chloroquine and evaluation of resistance by the infecting strain is essential to decide on the anti-malarial agent to be used. Where resistance is encountered use of other forms of quinine or a range of other anti-malarial drugs capable of arresting the infection would have to be considered for use. (3).
Filariasis occurs in both humans and animals. The nematode parasites of the order Filariidae or filariae are responsible for the infection. Only ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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