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Friday, September 6, 2013

Malaria ravaging African nation

Researchers are expressing grave concerns over the recent rise of malaria cases in the nation of Chad. New cases rose 1,142% in the last month, from 1,228 reported cases in early August to 14,021 by the end of the same month. While the country is subject to spikes of the parasitic disease during the rainy season (July through November annually), these numbers are well beyond normal reports, raising alarms with scientists. 80% of all hospital visits are being attributed to malaria, which is double the normal percentages for this time of year.

Republic of Chad, Africa

Malaria is a blood-borne infectious disease, transmitted through the bites of female mosquitoes. While there is no vaccine available, short-term medications do exist which can help prevent infection in travelers. Initial symptoms resemble standard flu conditions, including head-aches, fever, joint pain, and vomiting. If the disease progresses violent shivering, convulsions, and seizures occur, with the most deadly cases ending in coma.

Recent reports from the World Health Organization estimate that 650,000 people die annually from malaria on a global scale, and researchers fear those numbers could rise with the discovery of a drug-resistant strain in April of this year. Of those who perish from the disease a vast majority are children on the African continent, though concerns over a mutated version of the virus spreading on a global scale have been magnified in recent years.

Chad is considered by multiple global organizations to be one the most nefarious nations on the planet. Poverty is relentless, and since a majority of its people are nomadic they often sleep out in the open, leaving them vulnerable to infected insects. The primary preventative measure is to avoid contact entirely through the use of inexpensive mosquito screens, which could help stem the tide of death in the African republic, but due to government corruption getting said-screens to the scattered population is nearly impossible. 40% of all deaths in Chad each year are malaria-based, with children being the most common victims.

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