The fight against malaria

F. Ammache,  Year 2049,  2022.

Malaria is a disease we’ve been dealing with for thousands of years. Traces of the malaria parasite have been found in the remains of Egyptian mummies. Hippocrates described the fevers caused by malaria in Ancient Greece. The mosquito-filled Pontine Marshes protected Ancient Rome from invaders. Back then, we thought the disease was caused by people breathing “bad air”, or “mal aria”. The relationship between mosquitoes and malaria was unknown. Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest form of malaria, was introduced by a new breed of mosquitoes around the 5th century. Some historians speculate that P. falciparum played a key role in the fall of the Roman Empire. It wasn’t until 1897 that we understood that mosquitoes transmitted malaria. Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor based in India, found the malaria parasite in the blood of Anopheles mosquitoes which proved a hypothesis that was first put forward by his predecessor Alphonse Laveran.

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