Malaria Vaccine Development Essay

1458 words - 6 pages

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that lives both in mosquitoes and humans; Wikipedia defines malaria as a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by a eukaryotic protist of the genus Plasmodium. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. However malaria to me is a nightmare, it is scary as hell, very frustrating and intimidating disease that puts you down. In my village malaria is a disease that is common during rainy season due to presence of stagnant water which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
My first experience with malaria was at age 12. I remember missing school due to being hospitalized for about two weeks. Quinine drip was the drug of choice during that time, the side effects of this medication was worse than the effects of malaria. I personally call it a night mare disease because I remember the scary dreams I had during my malaria attack, I was hallucinating and I did not want my mother to turn off the lights at night, I wanted her to hold me tight and even though I would almost fall asleep I didn’t want to close my eyes. To this date I will do anything to prevent myself from this number one killer disease in Africa.
The symptoms of malaria were described in ancient Chinese medical writings but the word ‘Malaria’ was not yet in use. In 2700 BC, several characteristic symptoms of what would later be named malaria were described in the Nei Ching, The Canon of Medicine. ‘Malaria’ became widely recognized in Greece by the 4th century BCE, and it was responsible for the decline of many of the city-state populations. Hippocrates noted the principal symptoms. By the age of Pericles, there were extensive references to ‘malaria’ in literature and depopulation of rural areas was recorded. In the Susruta, a Sanskrit medical treatise, the symptoms of a ‘malarial-kind’ fever were described and attributed to the bites of certain insects. A number of Roman writers attributed malarial diseases to the swamps (cdc, 2010).
Italian physician Francisco Torti was the first to use a word mala aria literary meaning ‘bad air’ to describe a swamp disease (etymonline.com). It was later shortened to one word malaria from mal’aria, or paludisme and introduced to English in 1740 by Horace Walpole simply as Malaria (kakkilaya, 2010) . The vector-borne disease was once thought to have been caused by foul air in marshy districts (miasma) but Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, a French army surgeon stationed in Constantine, Algeria, was the first to associate Malaria with a parasite. In 1880 he discovered parasites in the blood of a malaria patient and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his findings (cdc, 2010). In 1897, Ronald Ross, a British officer in the Indian Medical Service, was the first to demonstrate that Malaria is transmitted by a parasite carried by a vector- mosquito (cdc, 2010) and won a Nobel peace prize for his findings. A total of four Nobel prizes have been awarded...

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