Oxford malaria map offers new hope

08 December 2011 09:27

Progress is being made in the fight against the most common form of malaria in Africa

Progress is being made in the fight against the most common form of malaria in Africa

Travellers planning to visit Africa have been urged to take extra care, with the country still firmly in the grip of the most common form of malaria.

In a potential new breakthrough, however, new research by scientists at Oxford University has offered some hope in the drive to tackle the disease in the form of a 'malaria map'.

According to the researchers, the plasmodium vivax malaria parasite is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria. It is constant presence in a substantial amount of areas of the world.

Peter Gething, Leader of Oxford's Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) study said: "This map helps us understand just how difficult it is going to be to eradicate malaria.

"Unfortunately, the tools for fighting this type of malaria range from ineffective to non-existent."

Vivax is not as fatal as the plasmodium falciparum parasite which leads to around 800,000 malaria deaths every year, but it is more common with around 2.85 billion people at risk across the globe.

Visitors to such countries should take precautions to avoid contracting the disease and also arm themselves with a good medical travel insurance cover for additional protection.

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