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Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Plasmodium ovale – a very uncommon type of malaria, has been identified in a soldier in Kerala – who was posted in Sudan where Plasmodium ovale is endemic.

Types of malaria

Malaria is caused by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, if the mosquito itself is infected with a malarial parasite.

There are five kinds of malarial parasites —

  1. Plasmodium falciparum,
  2. Plasmodium vivax (the commonest ones),
  3. Plasmodium malariae,
  4. Plasmodium ovale and
  5. Plasmodium knowlesi.

Current State of Malaria infections in India

  • In India, out of 1.57 lakh malaria cases in the high-burden states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh in 2019, 1.1 lakh cases (70%) were cases of falciparum malaria, according to a statement by the Health Ministry on December 2.
  • In 2018, the National Vector-borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) estimated that approximately 5 lakh people suffered from malaria (63% were of Plasmodium falciparum); researchers writing in the Malaria Journal of BMC felt the numbers could be an underestimate.
  • The recent World Malaria Report 2020 said cases in India dropped from about 20 million in 2000 to about 5.6 million in 2019.

More about P ovale in the world

  • P ovale malaria is endemic to tropical Western Africa. According to scientists at NIMR, P ovale is relatively unusual outside of Africa and, where found, comprises less than 1% of the isolates.
  • It has also been detected in the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, but is still relatively rate in these areas.
  • In a 2016 study on the China-Myanmar border, it was found that P ovale and P malariae occurred at very low prevalence, but were often misidentified.
  • In another study, carried out in China’s Jiangsu Province, indigenous malaria cases decreased significantly over 2011-14, but imported cases of P ovale and P malariae had increased, and were often misdiagnosed.

More about Malaria

  • Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals.
  • Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches and in severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death.
  • Malaria is caused by single-celled microorganisms of the Plasmodium group. – (Neither Bacteria, nor Virus)
  • The disease is most commonly spread by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.
  • The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water.
  • The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator – This includes much of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • One of the complications is the emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites. Certain malaria-endemic countries have even abandoned chloroquine for P. vivax treatment. Fortunately, chloroquine is still effective in India.

Click Here to read more about WHO World Malaria Report 2020

-Source: Indian Express

July 2024