Super Malaria epidemic in South East Asia entire world is at risk, warn researchers

Bangkok : A warning that an epidemic of ‘Super Malaria’, not responding to any available medicine or treatment, is spreading fast in the South East Asia, has been indicated by ‘Lancet Journal’ a leading magazine in the medical field. The entire world would be at risk if the epidemic is not brought under control, warn research scientists. Every year at least 21 million people worldwide are affected by malaria.

Super Malaria

Arjen Dondorp, a professor at the Mahidol University in Bangkok, informed that in the year 2007 there was an outbreak of a new type of malaria in Cambodia. This new type of disease spread to Vietnam like a wildfire. Afterwards the epidemic of the new type of malaria spread to countries like Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, in a big way. This new type of malaria spreads with ease, and has succeeded in showing resistance to the present day drugs. Cambodia has switched over to new drugs.

Professor Dondorp and his colleagues have written an independent paper on this new epidemic of malaria under the research topic, ‘The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ in this medical journal. It has been stressed by them in the article that this new form of malaria could prove resistant to treatment. This could be a grave risk. The new type of malaria is spreading rapidly in the South East Asia which in itself is a big hazard. The fear, that the disease may further spread to India and then to the African Continent looms large.   

Every year more than 21 million people are infected with malaria. The combined use of ‘artemisinin’ and ‘piperaquine’ have been effectively used for treatment. However, for the last few years, the effect of ‘artemisinin’ has been reduced and the new ‘parasites’ in malaria have succeeded in showing resistance to ‘piperaquine’. Professor Dondorp and his colleagues warned that there are examples where standard medicines have proved unsuccessful in controlling the new disease and this is a cause of great concern.

In countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, researchers inform that 60% of the cases of malaria, have failed to respond to the prevailing medicines. 90% and more patients with malaria are in the African Continent. Fear has been expressed that if the new type of malaria enters Africa then there would be a doom. Time is short to find any treatment for this new malaria, also it could be equally dangerous if this disease reaches a stage when it cannot be treated, say scientists.  

The name for this new type of disease that refuses to respond to treatment is ‘Superbug’. Every year, approximately, seven lakh people are its victims, informs British medical expert Dr. Michael Chew.