Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Malarial math not looking good

Reuters today:

More than half a billion people, nearly double previous estimates, were affected by the deadliest form of malaria in 2002, scientists said Wednesday.
"The disease burden is 515 million clinical attacks a year on the planet. That is quite substantial," said Professor Bob Snow of the Kenyan Medical Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya.

Oh yes. Quite substantial. If you accept the number of humans planet-wide at 6 billion, that's about one person in every twelve with "the deadliest form" of yellow fever. [Question: How many contracted the least (or is it lesser) deadly form(s)?]

We hate to sound like a broken record but IF this story is factual, that's one hell of a lot of sick people. Since malaria is a repeat offender -- the parasite never actually leaves the body -- perhaps we should rethink this total DDT ban. Maybe a couple of years worth of spraying in the world hot spots to quell the mosquito-borne contagion would be cost effective.

Just a suggestion ... don't be so hot-headed!


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