Resistant Malaria Spreads Rapidly To Thai-Myanmar Border
53 replies to this topic
Posted 2012-04-06 01:39:15
Resistant malaria spreads rapidly to Thai-Myanmar border
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2012 (AFP) - Deadly malaria that is resistant to drug treatment has spread rapidly from Cambodia to the border between Thailand and Myanmar, raising concerns of an uncontrollable epidemic, scientists said Thursday.
A pair of studies published in The Lancet and the journal Science showed how the disease is moving fast into new territory and identified a region of the parasite's genome that may be responsible for mutating in order to survive.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease commonly caused by a parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, that kills up to 1.2 million people a year, according to 2010 estimates by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Malaria that was resistant to treatment with the current standard therapy, artemisinin, was confirmed in Cambodia in 2006 and has since surged 800 kilometers (500 miles) westward to the Thailand-Myanmar border, the researchers said.
By studying 3,202 patients along the northwestern border of Thailand near Myanmar from 2001 and 2010 and measuring the time it took them to clear malaria infections from their blood after treatment, scientists were able to show a steady increase in drug resistance.
The number of slow-clearing infections rose from 0.6 percent of cases treated in 2001 to 20 percent in 2010.
In western Cambodia, 42 percent of malaria cases were resistant between 2007 and 2010, indicating that the Thailand-Myanmar region was swiftly catching up to Cambodia's rates.
"Genetically determined artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum emerged along the Thailand-Myanmar border at least eight years ago and has since increased substantially," said The Lancet study.
"At this rate of increase, resistance will reach rates reported in western Cambodia in two to six years."
The research in the journal Science focused on what was making these parasites different, and found that a region on chromosome 13 of the parasite was strongly associated with slow clearance of infection.
They sequenced the genomes of 91 P. falciparum parasites from Cambodia and western Thailand and compared them to parasites from Laos, where resistance to the latest artemisinin-based drugs has not yet emerged.
They found seven genes that may be responsible for making the parasite resistant to drugs, and which may explain up to 35 percent of the growing resistance in southeast Asia.
"We have now seen the emergence of malaria resistant to our best drugs, and these resistant parasites are not confined to western Cambodia," said leader of the study Francois Nosten, director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit that studies and treats malaria in the Thai-Myanmar region.
"This is very worrying indeed and suggests that we are in a race against time to control malaria in these regions before drug resistance worsens and develops and spreads further."
The death toll from malaria has been declining in Africa -- the part of the world worst hit by the disease -- in recent years, largely due to the increased use of artemisinin drugs and the widening distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets.
But if resistance spreads to artemisinin therapies -- used alone or taken in combination with other anti-malarials -- some experts are concerned that a resurgence of drug-resistant malaria could return to Africa.
Researchers say a new anti-malaria drug is not expected to appear on the world market before the next decade is up.
The two studies were funded by the Wellcome Trust and the US National Institutes of Health, and included scientists from Mahidol University, Bangkok; the Centre for Tropical Medicine at Britain's Oxford University; and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in the United States.
-- ©Copyright AFP 2012-04-06 | AFP News Sponsor
Published with written approval from AFP.
Posted 2012-04-06 06:43:57
Very worrying, I tend to think of Thailand asked malaria free. The geography is also a concern. How did this form of malaria transit from Cambodia to the east of Thailand and Burma in the West? Via what route? Does this mean the central belt of Thailand is now infected? Or did it not transit at all and all malarial strains are simply mutating into a resistant form which being resistant may spread across previously uninfected areas?
Posted 2012-04-06 08:43:20
Maybe just infected people transit?
Koh Payam, a beautiful island is also infected......
Posted 2012-04-06 09:06:52
Very troubling. Dengue is already pandemic here.
This is Fulciparium malaria note.
Funny, when I meet all these (stupid) European hippy types young and old in the islands and they pull out their citronella and all sorts of non-deet concoctions. I always tell them I prefer to put poison on my body, greatly outweighs the risk of severe illness from Dengue or death from Malaria. They laugh...hah hah.
Give me the 95% DEET every time!
Basically same article from AFP:
Posted 2012-04-06 09:18:42
smoking marihuana, sleeping close to the jungle, etc etc getting bitten by 1000 mosquitoes
Posted 2012-04-06 09:32:17
Sometimes you have to sleep in the jungle, it's the way the NPs are set up. Some islands do not have much of a mossy problem - others, pretty serious.
Certainly, mainland jungle parks are a huge worry, esp with this report.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:26:23
Plasmodium falciparum is preventable with Larium tablets once a week, There is a daily tablet that you can get outside of Asia. They stopped making it here when the counterfits would not work. Some antibiotics give daily protection as well, but you should check which one.
I know this because I work in Africa and the company compells us to take something and then urine tests us to make sure we comply. Plasmodium falciparum is deadly and starts with flu symptoms. See a doctor, don't wait.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:30:31
Poor Thailand, as usual caught in the middle of all that evil spreading to and from its neighbors.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:35:58
A pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan "all" + δῆμος demos "people") is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu. Throughout history there have been a number of pandemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis. More recent pandemics include the HIV pandemic and the H1n1 pandemic.
I don't think dengue applies as a pandemic. But I'm sure you scared somebody that is not knowledgeable about such things.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:36:40
Roche, the drug company, claims that Lariam causes serious psychiatric side effects in only one in 10,000 people. But Dr. Paul Clarke, an infectious disease specialist and the medical director of a large network of travel clinics in Great Britain, organized his own study, after he and other British doctors saw problems with much greater frequency.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:39:14
Mosquitos up here don't like alcohol. Just stay drunk and you will be fine ;-)
Posted 2012-04-06 11:42:08
Plasmodium falciparum is a different strain of Malaria. Thailand have not been Malaria free since I got here in 1987, probably years and years before but I know 25 years. But Plasmodium falciparum was less that 1% of people bitten in Thailand until now. Malaria is transmitted by mosquito's, NOT PEOPLE.
Edited by craigt3365, 2012-04-06 14:46:45.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:42:13
I think that Thailand should re think the boarder crossings! as Falang are being shipped unnecessary across boarders every 30 days or less to just get a stamp . they could do in a local Immigration office
its a bit like England we were a Island that;s why we don't have Rabies,so not long before we get it with the channel tunnel
so every time a Falang unnecessary cross the border we are increasing the chance of
Malaria and other infections
Posted 2012-04-06 11:44:03
Sounds good to me - pass me a saucer of laced milk, please
Posted 2012-04-06 11:50:21
imagine your worst hangover & multiply it 10 fold or more. this will the first symptom..followed by delirium ..loss of consciousness, multi-organ failure ...welcome to p falciparum.
Posted 2012-04-06 11:52:11
Thailand & neighbors resistant malaria , And in India a resistant Tuberculosis , Europe resistant hospital bacteria ........ looks like nature once more go take care about the over population as before it did
Posted 2012-04-06 12:09:41
Last year I saw a man with malaria waiting to see a doctor in Chumphon hospital, he was in obvious discomfort, delerious and vomiting clear mucus, if that was the common malaria I would not want to be infected with this new variety.
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Posted 2012-04-06 12:27:37
Are you saying people with malaria are immediately immobile? I see nothing wrong with that post except that we cannot know the answer. Malaria can travel in humans and mosquitoes I would say. True, new cases must have been bitten by a mosquito that has bitten an infected human – or some other mammal that has it in his blood? You are right there cannot be any other way than a bite, but the infected human could have flown in a plane further than a mosquito without a ticket. The spraying of insecticide in planes coming from that direction should also be started immediately.
Four to six days is very fast, I did not realise it was so lethal. It could take that long to know what disease a person has?
This is not entirely a joke, - but is gin not any use now?
Posted 2012-04-06 12:29:24
These are a quote from a reliable Medical source on the Symtoms. "There are three main types of malaria, depending upon the parasites which cause it. They are tertian fever, quartan fever and malignant tertian malaria. The most common symptom of all types of malaria is high fever, which may occur every day, on alternate days, or every fourth day. The fever is accompanied by chills, headache, shivering, and pain in the limbs. The temperature comes down after some time with profuse sweating."
These misquitos are indeed moving rapidly. All these Thai people that water and plants and misquito would do better to empty all of them coz they are indeed a huge magnet for these deadly critters.
I believe Singapore way back when had their citizens remove all the large vases and or pots in a combined effort do help do away with the Dengue fever which affects the blood. You can probably bet money these these drug resistant misquitos are carrying Dengue as well as Malaria.
I did read way back when that Grapefruit eaten daily is a pretty effective remedy for the onset of symtoms from Malaria. I believe the huge Som O you see in the thai markets, and in the grocery stores like Big C etc is related to the grapefruit we have in the west.
Posted 2012-04-06 12:43:05
A bottle of Jungle Formula Extra Strength Lotion, for Tropical Use from the U.K. is by far the best defense against these nasty varmits; it friggen works against Midgets, Misquitos, and All biting insets. but not against bar girls I have never seen it in Thailand, but I carry it with me all the time. 10hr hours of protection is dam good.
www.jungleformula.co.uk I am reading this right off the bottle I have.
Posted 2012-04-06 13:39:57
I wonder what course the WHO is recommending for this problem?
PS: The laced milk comment from ChiangMaiCharlies was a welcome bit of comic relief.
Posted 2012-04-06 13:58:07
How many readers have had malaria? Well FYI I have had it on my return from West Africa 1996, got bitten while at airport awaiting my return, as luck had been favorable I developed the full disease on my return...I went to hospital and local Dr. puzzled as all the signs did not comply with normal disease found in Canada. A specialist look at my case..he was specialized in "Foreign Disease" yes I had Malaria. I was given treatment and recovered. FYI I can not give blood for 10yrs as I had to complete the donor quiz before giving, having had malaria.
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