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Medicine Science

Malaria Has Been Eliminated In Europe (qz.com) 126

An anonymous reader writes: Quartz reports that "Malaria cases in Europe have dropped from a peak of over 90,000 in 1995 to zero in 2015, according to the World Health Organization," who calls the "extraordinary but fragile" achievement a step towards eliminating malaria everywhere. Nine European countries had reported malaria cases, but agreed to focus their efforts on a full elimination of the mosquito-borne disease. "The WHO attributes success to improved surveillance systems, better mosquito control, and greater collaboration across borders," reports Quartz, noting it now provides a blueprint for other countries fighting the disease -- and a boost in morale.
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Malaria Has Been Eliminated In Europe

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  • Tajikistan ?!?!? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pascal Sartoretti ( 454385 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @03:11AM (#51981127)
    The article lists Tajikistan as a European country, which makes it difficult to consider the article seriously.
    • Re:Tajikistan ?!?!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @03:40AM (#51981195) Homepage Journal

      Acutally it says European region. Tajikistan was a member of Sovjet but Tajikistan became free in 1991. The country selected to be part of WHO European region as before when part of Sovjet.

      So because of historical reason several old Sovjet former republics are now members of WHO European office and not the asian.

      • by De_Boswachter ( 905895 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @05:33AM (#51981399) Homepage
        Moreover, Russia participates in the Eurovision Song Contest.
        • Moreover, Russia participates in the Eurovision Song Contest.

          Russia can be considered as part of Europe (depending on how you define it...), but Tajikistan is definitely an Asian country.

          • by dave420 ( 699308 )

            So you have no idea how any of this works, and you'd rather spend your time and effort telling everyone that rather than educating yourself. Thanks for clearing that up.

        • by Vlad_the_Inhaler ( 32958 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @08:52AM (#51982187) Homepage

          Moreover, Russia participates in the Eurovision Song Contest.

          I heard somewhere that Australia was going to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest this year, and Israel has won the thing once so that is really not a criteria.
          Tajikistan borders on Afghanistan and China - along with some other post-Soviet states - so including it under Europe is just a tiny bit misleading. Most of Turkey is also in Asia.

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            I'm pretty sure if it enhanced money making, they would include fucking Fiji in the "Eurovision" contest. And their audience knows less about geography than the show creators care about geography, as paradoxically impossible as that might seem.

            • Well, I guess that's one way to get good ratings. Might be hard to get it past the censors, though.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Australia also participates in the Eurovision Song Contest (since last year), that's not a very good criteria.
        • So, I'm told, do Australia and New Zealand. This is not a good discriminator.
    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      All the former soviet republics were at one time "in Europe" for all measures, as the USSR was wholly in Europe, for UN administration. So when the pieces left the USSR, the administration stayed the same. It's all arbitrary anyway, so a little blurring of the single continent of Eurasia doesn't hurt. It's all a single landmass, so should be a single continent. And any argument I've seen that the mountains separate it into a separate continent also works to have India be a separate continent, but those
  • by mrbill1234 ( 715607 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @03:39AM (#51981191)

    Just in time for a new virus - Zika

  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @04:00AM (#51981235)
    that with global warming the malaria mosquito areal will move further to the north.
    • by quenda ( 644621 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @04:43AM (#51981313)

      that with global warming the malaria mosquito areal will move further to the north.

      If developed countries like Australia and Singapore are malaria-free, I don't see how a warmer Europe should have a problem.

    • It's not just temperature which leads to more mosquitoes. Southern California has ideal temperatures for mosquito breeding, but almost no mosquitoes. The reason is the dry climate - standing water is extremely rare, meaning there's no place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. So for mosquito growth, you need both warm temperatures and enough humidity to prevent standing water from evaporating. That's why mosquito control isn't just spraying pesticides, it's eliminating places where standing water can pool
  • i've been carefully watching my own kids and they have seemed to have lost their fear of nature now that there aren't bugs carrying potentially deadly viruses. it's only a matter of time before they run into the forest to live with the animals and... wait a second... i don't have children! who are these frauds?!

  • If we think about others more than ourselves, we should be helping defeat the two great problems of wold hunger and malaria. Every little bit we can help does help for immediate and lasting change. World hunger in itself could be defeated in a generation if enough of us helped. Even something as simple as eating your boring leftovers so you eat out and save money can help out some. The main idea is to forgo the luxuries that you don't need to help more.
  • Good riddance (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jesrad ( 716567 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @04:47AM (#51981317) Journal

    Even a passing interest in genealogy will teach any European how massively deadly malaria and influenza have been for their grandparents and great-grandparents. Malaria has killed half of every human being ever [blogspot.fr], it used to kill millions out of every generation in Europe even in the XXth century, until large-scale efforts at drying out swamps and massive DDT campaigns successfully curbed mosquito breeding to a point where the parasite couldn't spread and renew its carrier pool anymore.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      It's not just Europe but North America as well. Swamp drying, and pesticide use pushed it or reduced the number of locations where it could breed. Lot of people don't know that half the people who died making the Rideau(Ottawa) Canal were killed by malaria that was back in the 1800's, start digging through death records for the period and you'll start seeing stuff like "xyz person died, suspected lake fever" "swamp fever" "bad swamp/lake air" things like that with a list of symptoms that mirror malaria.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Malaria has killed half of every human being ever

      AFAIK both halves of me are alive.

    • The role of DDT (Score:5, Informative)

      by dlenmn ( 145080 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @09:03AM (#51982247)

      (Not picking on you in particular; it's just that you mention DDT, so this seems like a good place to post.)

      For what I can tell, this time round, Malaria was eliminated without a massive DDT campaign (possibly without DDT at all). I can't find a single source on DDT use in this campaign, but here [who.int] is the summary on how Turkey eliminated malaria recently, and it looks like no DDT was used post 2000 (although it was used heavily earlier).

      For those who don't know, DDT use in controversial because it is harmful to birds [wikipedia.org] (and is likely a carcinogen, but then again, what isn't a carcinogen?). However, not using it is also controversial because critics say [wikipedia.org] that environmentalist trying to reduce the use of DDT are causing millions of deaths worldwide by prioritizing wildlife over human lives. FWIW, the World Health Orgainzation still supports using DDT to fight malaria, but it also strongly recommends using newer (and likely less environmentally harmful) pesticides.

      The pro-DDT critics of envromentalists often miss one big thing, which gets hammered on in the first liked I posted: a lot of mosquito have gained resistance to DDT (and other pesticides). Just like overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so does the overuse of pesticides lead to pesticide-resistant mosquito. The link makes that pretty clear:

      By 1999/2000, resistance to 12 insecticides (DDT, dieldrin, malathion, fenitrothion, pirimiphosmethyl, bendiocarb, deltamethrin, permethrin, lambdacyhalothrin, eofenprox, cyfluthrin and propoxur) was reported for specimens of An. sacharovi, in both laboratory cultures and wild-caught mosquitoes collected in the malarious areas of Adana, Adiyaman, Antalya, Aydn, and Mugla in southern Turkey. In Adana, Adiyaman and Antalya, An. sacharovi was susceptible only to malathion and pirimiphos-methyl.

      That's kind of scary. It makes it clear that we need a plan B for killing mosquitoes other than wide-spread use of pesticides, because existing pesticides are already loosing their effectiveness. New pesticides will eventually suffer the same fate too.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        Except that DDT was used all over Europe from 1945 until the 1970s and with that you saw a large decrease in Malaria.
        Eliminating Malaria didn't start over last week but has been an ongoing task that really got started after WWII.
        It is often said that WWII was the first war where more people were killed by weapons than starvation and disease. I do not know now if that is true or not but it was probably the first war where the victors made such a large effort to keep the civilians of the nations that lost ali

      • DDT use in controversial because it is harmful to birds

        DDT use and manufacture has been banned because it is a "bioaccumulator" (it increases in concentration in predators which eat insects containing sub-lethal doses of it, and increases further in predators which eat those predators ...) ; one effect of this was severe damage to bird populations - particularly raptors.

    • I'm going to get modded to hell for this, but I would like to point out what was NOT a significant contributor to the eradication of Malaria: vaccinations.

      Once again, sanitation proves to the one of the largest preventers of disease.

      But I fully expect the pharmaceutical industry to release a new vaccine and claim responsibility for the eradication of Malaria, just like it did with measles, mumps, and rubella.

      • First of all: I hate posts that start with "I will get modded down".
        Secondly: you are an idiot.
        Thirdly: there is no vaccination against Malaria, and there never will be.

        Perhaps morons like you should for funk sake read an wikipedia article about what Malaria actually is.

        You cant vaccinationate people against parasites, you only can against virus and bacteria!!!!! Get a damn clue.

  • Just wait, human stupidity will fix that for you guys.

    Why cant we get a vaccine against stupidity? or at least make it so those people can not reproduce?

  • This is what climate change brings you. Completely extinct. I hope you are happy, Europe! #savemalaria #climatechange
  • [sarcasm] Stupid pharmaceutical companies and their damn vaccins ruining our children! [/sarcasm]
  • by Atrox666 ( 957601 ) on Monday April 25, 2016 @09:55AM (#51982665)

    I'll keep drinking my gin and tonic just in case.

  • The Who attributes success to improved surveillance systems, better mosquito control, and greater collaboration across borders, and wants everyone to know that their next show will be on april 27th in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Air Canada Centre. [thewho.com]

  • Mosquitoes should have been eliminated

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