Malaria Reaching New Heights Due To Climate Change; Warm Tem

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Malaria Reaching New Heights Due To Climate Change; Warm Tem

Unread postby zeru » 08 Mar 2014 20:05

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Malaria is a disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium, which infects mosquitos living in mostly warm climates that subsequently bite humans, passing on the infection. In humans, the parasite multiplies in the liver, and spreads throughout the body from there, infecting red blood cells, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). After about 10 to 15 days, the infection causes fever, headache, and vomiting, but usually gets worse, becoming life-threatening when it disrupts the blood supply to vital organs.
Currently, the WHO estimates that 3.4 billion people worldwide are at risk of malaria infection. In 2012, there were an estimated 207 million cases of the infection with about 627,000 deaths among them. Since 2000, rates of infection and death have gone down by 29 percent and 45 percent, respectively, but climate change may cause them to jump again, as people who live at higher, colder altitudes experience unseasonably warmer temperatures.
Researchers from the
University of Michigan
have seen trends toward this reality in the highlands of Ethiopia and Colombia, both of which kept detailed
records
of malaria infections and temperatures between the 1990s and 2005. Looking at these records, they found that malaria did
indeed
shift toward the upper regions during warmer years, while shifting to lower altitudes during colder years.
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