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Malaria elimination maps highlight progress and prospects
Date:10/17/2011

ople once thought it was caused by swamp gasses, since it seemed to be prevalent in wet, marshy places.

By the dawn of the 20th century, scientists had discovered that the disease is actually caused by microscopic parasites called Plasmodium and spread by mosquitoes. Armed with this knowledge, health officials throughout the last century have worked toward the ultimate goal of eradicating the disease, and have had great success in progressively eliminating malaria country-by-country.

[See: Progress Fighting Malaria: A Timeline http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/08/10525/progress-fighting-malaria-timeline]

Full malaria eradication was intensively pursued as a major public health effort after World War II. As a result, some 109 countries eliminated malaria, interrupting transmission to the point where the disease is no longer locally spread from person to person. The United States, for instance, eliminated the disease in 1952. However, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,500 cases of malaria still occur in the United States each year imported by visitors or travelers returning from abroad.

Despite successes, eradication efforts stalled in the 1960s, and today malaria remains a major cause of illness in many parts of the world. Almost half the world's population lives in places where the disease is common, yet significant progress is being made at the fringes of malaria transmission around the world.

"In a time of budget shortfalls," Feachem said, "this Atlas provides a critical resource for malaria programs and their supporting agencies to more effectively target their elimination strategies and advocate for needed funding to address remaining challenges."

Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network Advances Regional Elimination Efforts

Bringing further attention to the di
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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jason.bardi@ucsf.edu
415-502-4608
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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