South-east Asia is affected by a super malaria parasite that is spreading through the continent. Scientists have reasons to believe that the parasite will also reach Singapore.
Singapore is not in grave danger
Singapore was declared malaria-free back in 1982 by the World Health Organisation. However, it is very likely that it will receive super malaria very soon. Despite this worrisome news, scientists assure us that these newer strains of malaria can’t spread too fast here since there are few Anopheles mosquitoes (the carriers of malaria). In this region, Assistant Professor Rajesh Chandramohanadas from the Singapore University of Technology & Design studies malaria parasites and he declared that “a rapid spread here would not be a major concern.”
New dangerous strain of malaria
Back in 2007 experts discovered this new strain in Cambodia, and they soon realized that cannot be treated with the usual drugs. A new article published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases said that this new strain “is very fit and spreads very easily. This resistance is taking over. Cambodia already changed to a new drug, likely to last one or two years. Vietnam has to change now.”
Scientists also warned the population that this new parasite is quickly spreading and it will affect the Asian continent. Professor Arjen Dondorp, head of the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit at Mahidol University in Bangkok declared that “It spread like wildfire to Vietnam.”
These new parasites may become a real threat and they can become untreatable since the common treatments are already becoming less effective “The spread of this malaria ‘superbug’ strain… is alarming and has major implications for public health globally. Around 700,000 people a year die from drug-resistant infections, including malaria. If nothing is done, this could increase to millions… every year by 2050, ” declared Dr. Michael Chew, from the Wellcome Trust medical research charity.