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Environmental Health Issue

In: Other Topics

Submitted By anddsmit
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Malaria is a serious disease in more than 90 countries, which account for about 40% of the world’s population, with those affected mostly living in the poorest countries (Maartens, Sharp, Curtis, Mthembu, & Hatting, 2007). This puts almost 2.5 billion people at risk, with more than 500 million becoming seriously ill with malaria every year and more than 1 million people dying from the disease (Rowe, et al., 2007). Four-fifths of these deaths occur in Africa (Kiszewski, et al., 2007). Malaria fever episodes in children are also rampant, with children in Africa experiencing on average between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever every year (WHO, 2009). Malaria is the cause of 1 in 5 childhood deaths in Africa (WHO, 2009). Malaria also has a severe detrimental effect on economic growth, with countries with intense transmission losing an average of 1.3% of annual economic growth due to the effects of malaria, compounding an already serious problem with economic growth since malaria primarily affects those living in the poorest countries (WHO, 2009). And because many of the poorest countries rely heavily on tourism for income, the perception of a locale as endemic with malaria can severely hurt tourism rates (Maartens, et al., 2007). It is for these reasons and more that malaria control is an important issue in environmental health for the United States to combat, for moral, economic, and national security reasons. Malaria control is also important for United States diplomats, their families, and other US nationals who work or visit areas where malaria is endemic. And because of the threat of reintroduction of malaria to the United States, world-wide malaria control should become a priority of the U.S. government. Malaria is a disease cause by the parasite Plasmodium (CDC, 2008). This parasite is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes, and once in...

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