“Today malaria is considered a disease of the poor. . .”-Kevin Cunningham

This week, scientists have made history. Again.

The Times UK reported, “One of the world’s most deadly diseases could be brought under control, scientists said . . . as they hailed the first working vaccine against malaria.”

Kevin Cunningham, author of Diseases in History: Malaria (a Morgan Reynolds title), wrote, “Malaria has killed more human beings than any other disease. There are historians who say it has killed half the people who have ever lived.”

The most affected nations in the world are in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The vaccine will be administered to children in Africa, according to the Times. “Millions of children in Africa are likely to being receiving the jab within a few years after final-stage trials showed that it halved the number who got sick.”

Tsiri Agbenyega, the lead investigator or the trial, told the Times, “This is remarkable when you consider there has never been a successful vaccine against a human parasite.”

Cunningham wrote, “If the effort against malaria is going to succeed, it will have to be as relentless as malaria itself.”

The Times reports that this new vaccine is “far from 100 percent effective” but that it still “has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

It may not be relentless, but this vaccine will give many a fighting chance at survival.

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about malaria, check out Kevin Cunningham’s Diseases in History: Malaria (ISBN 9781599351032).

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Published in: on October 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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