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Malaria. Prevention and Vaccine

Malaria. Prevention and Vaccine

Malaria is a serious tropical parasitic disease characterized by bouts of fever, anemia, and an enlarged spleen. There are 4 types of malaria: tropical, three-day, four-day, and oval malaria. The most severe is tropical. Malaria is passed from a sick person to a healthy person through the bloodsucking of female mosquitoes. Among other ways of infection are blood transfusion and intrauterine transmission, when a woman with malaria infects her unborn child. Parasites that enter the human body during a bite of malaria mosquitoes circulate in the blood and then enter the liver, in the cells of which they develop.

The incubation (hidden) period of the development of parasites ranges from seven days to three years. This amplitude depends on the type of malaria, with tropical malaria, the incubation period is short. The disease begins with symptoms of general intoxication (adynamia, fatigue, severe headache, chills). Then there are repeated attacks of fever, body temperature rises to 40 degrees and above, lasts several hours and is accompanied by chills and severe sweating at the end of the attack. If there is a clear recurrence of such attacks within a given period - every day (every other day or two days later), you should think about a possible malaria disease and immediately seek medical attention.

Patients are treated in the infectious diseases hospital with special antimalarial drugs. The success of malaria treatment is largely determined by the timeliness and correctness of the choice of drug.

Malaria prevention

When staying in places where malaria is common, the following precaution measures should be taken:

  • sleep in rooms where windows and doors are covered with a net or net canopy, preferably impregnated with an insecticide;
  • dress from dusk until dawn so as not to leave arms and legs open;
  • treat open skin areas with a repellent, especially when staying outdoors in the evening and at night;
  • people traveling to foci of medium and high endemicity are advised to take prophylactic antimalarial drugs.

Malaria vaccine

Scientists all over the world have been developing a vaccine against malaria since 1960. Several clinical trials were conducted, but they were insufficient. In 2019, a four-year pilot project was launched in several countries of Africa with the highest incidence of malaria in order to determine the safety level of the new malaria vaccine (RTS, S). It was developed by the company GlaxoSmithKline. Its development took 32 years and 700 million dollars. Its aim is to protect children from becoming infected with this disease. But vaccines do not give a 100% guarantee, their task is to significantly reduce the risk of catching malaria. The results of clinical studies have shown that 40% of babies aged 5 to 17 months did not get sick after vaccination. One of the disadvantages of RTS, S is a reduction in its effectiveness four years after reception of the final dose.

As of today, the RTS, S vaccine became accessible for young children (360,000 children annually in chosen areas of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi) within the programme of planned immunization. The first dose is administered to children at 5 months, and the last (fourth) dose at 2 years. The new vaccine helps the immune system to independently attack parasites in the body.

By the way, the World Health Organization clarified that the vaccine is an additional means of combating malaria. The main ones are still preventive measures: the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents.

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Malaria is a serious tropical parasitic disease characterized by bouts of fever, anemia, and an enlarged spleen.

Malaria vaccine

Scientists all over the world have been developing a vaccine against malaria since 1960. Several clinical trials were conducted, but they were insufficient. In 2019, a four-year pilot project was launched in several countries of Africa with the highest incidence of malaria in order to determine the safety level of the new malaria vaccine (RTS, S). It was developed by the company GlaxoSmithKline. Its development took 32 years and 700 million dollars. Its aim is to protect children from becoming infected with this disease. But vaccines do not give a 100% guarantee, their task is to significantly reduce the risk of catching malaria. The results of clinical studies have shown that 40% of babies aged 5 to 17 months did not get sick after vaccination. One of the disadvantages of RTS, S is a reduction in its effectiveness four years after reception of the final dose.

As of today, the RTS, S vaccine became accessible for young children (360,000 children annually in chosen areas of Ghana, Kenya and Malawi) within the programme of planned immunization. The first dose is administered to children at 5 months, and the last (fourth) dose at 2 years. The new vaccine helps the immune system to independently attack parasites in the body.

By the way, the World Health Organization clarified that the vaccine is an additional means of combating malaria. The main ones are still preventive measures: the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents.

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