Saturday, December 13, 2008

WHO is preparing attack against new resistent malaria

Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that WHO will make a huge effort to eradicate the new malaria parasites in Cambodia being resistent against the drug artemisinin before they spread to other countries.

50 years ago the first chloroquine-resistent malaria parasites were discovered in Cambodia. Since then the chloroquine resistance has spread around the world and killed tens of millions of people. Around 20 years later the chinese herb artemisia started to be in use as a malaria treatment. Artemisinin is now gradually taking over chloroquine and the risk that parasites would develop resistance againt artemisinin as well has been a horror scenario according to Svenska Dagbladet. Less then a week ago New England Journal of Medicine reported about the first cases of artemisinin resistent malaria in Cambodia.

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