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Malaria: The Invincible Might of a Parasite, Nestled in a 'Mite'

Malaria is a disease that is preventable and curable, yet every 30 seconds a child dies due to the disease. Truly, malaria has posed one of the biggest challenges //to healthcare experts and scientists, who are simply mystified by the parasite that packs a punch through an innocuous looking mite. It is apt to quote Confucius, a renowned thinker, who made his country proud much before the unique selling 'Made in China' tag, had expressed the importance of strategies behind conquering a problem, when he said 'do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito'!

While we pour our thoughts into another World Malaria Day, it is about time to take stock of the strategies adopted to quell the disease, which has often made a mockery of the efforts undertaken by scientists the world over.

Malaria is a disease that is set into action by the protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium and is considered a lethal vector borne disease. Four species of Plasmodium triggers the disease in several forms. They are Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malaria. P. falciparum is by far the most common and perilous of the four types; in the absence of proper treatment it can cause fatal cerebral malaria.

Malaria parasites are conveyed from one person to another by the female anopheles mosquito which is found mainly in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Like all other mosquitoes, the anopheles grows and multiplies in water. An infected anopheles mosquito spreads the infection by injecting the malarial parasites into the blood of a person it bites. The malarial parasites course through the bloodstream and find their way to the liver, where they attack the red blood cells.

Malaria is detected with the help of blood tests and evaluation of clinical symptoms. The symptoms show up as fever, shivering, pain in the joints and headache, which can be offset with anti-malarial drugs, capable of annihilating the parasite. In
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