I am Malaria, an infectious disease. Every year I kill approximately one point three million humans, and infect another 350-500 million. My work is mostly in the tropics where favorable climates and lifestyles aid in my process. Over 85% of deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Do I have your attention?
Why I exist – I exist because as a result of the protozoan parasite. My mode of transit between humans for transmission is by mosquitos. Mosquitos are favorable as they are vast and persistent in their work, as I am in mine. Although everyone is vulnerable to my attacks, it is pregnant women and infants under the age of five that I have the most success with. A french army doctor names Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran first discovered me, and was awarded the Nobel prize for Physiology in 1907. (I am still waiting for my turn to win the award). It was Alphonse, Charles that was the first person to be able to describe my life cycle, as I develop in the bodies of mosquitos and of my many human hosts.
Do you have me? – Your starting to get a feeling for who I am; but how do you know if you have me? Trust me you’ll know! I can cause several things, aka Symtoms of Malaria. My specialties include but are not limited to: fever, shivering, arthralgia, vomiting, anemia, and if your looking for a really fun one: convulsions. Sometimes individuals will even feel a tingling sensation in their skin.
Why should you be listening to me?
If it isn’t my sleek lines or ingenuity you should be paying attention because of numbers. The number of victims every year that are infected with my virus. Infections are dangerous and complications with me, malaria, include coma and death if untreated. Young children again are especially vulnerable.
My specialty – Like I mentioned before I have chosen mosquitos and in particular the females ones to get around. When a female bites a person(if they have the correct sporozoites in their salivary glands, they will transfer the me, the virus, into the remote human body. I will then work my way into the liver where I will multiply inside of the hepatic liver cells. It is there where I will turn into merozoites, and enter into red blood cells, where I will continue to multiple. Sometimes if a relationship goes sour witin a red blood cell, I will break out, and move on. It is at this point of “break out” in which you will begin to experience waves of fever. These waves generally occur every 2-3 days. Ingenuity is what I call it when I stick inside of the liver and the red blood cells so that your immune sytem cannot ask me to leave. It is when relationships are good and I remain in the blood cells long enough to create surface protiens so that I can stick onto the walls of blood vessels, otherwise I see my fate, and am destroyed in the spleen. Because my surface protiens come in so many variations they can easily out smart your immune system, and I remain. Even when your immune system catched on to what I’m up to, I’ve already put on a new coat, and guess what. It’ll have to start from scratch. You can see how me hanging about in your blood vessels causes complications in your system.