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Malaria is one of the most prevalent and dangerous diseases known to man It has existed for centuries and affects a myriad of people in the tropical region Even today with our newly discovered treatments for many of the tropical diseases over 10 of the people that are infected with malaria each year and do not receive proper treatment die In Africa alone over 1 million children die each year because of malaria and new cases are reported frequently Malaria is very dangerous and harmful to manHowever the protozoan that causes malaria has existed since man came into being Fossils of mosquitoes that are 30 million years old contain the vector for malaria After written history many civilisations have known about malaria The Greek physician Hippocrates described the symptoms of malaria in the 5th Century BC The name malaria is derived from the Italian words mal and aria meaning bad air because people of earlier times believed that the disease was caused by polluted air near swaps and wetlands in Europe The scientific identification of malaria was not found until 1880 The French army physician Charles Laveran while stationed in Algeria noticed strange shapes of red blood cells in certain patients and identified the disease scientifically and linked to a certain protozoan Although the disease had been identified it was not until 1897 when British army physician Ronald Ross studied birds and discovered that the malarial protozoan was transmitted through mosquitoes Soon after two Italian scientists noted that mosquitoes spread malaria to humans as well Many attempts have been made to try to eradicate the disease As early as 7 AD in Rome swamps were drained to try to prevent the bad air from reaching nearby cities Recently in the 1950s and 1960s about 25 years after the development of DDT the United Nations World Health Organisation tried to wipe out the disease through the use of DDT Although the number of cases was reduces
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