Just when you thought you had it all on malaria, the World Wide Web seems able to dish up so much more.
From the latest information on malaria research to travel tips to just plain mosquito silliness, a quick surf on the Internet turns up a bevy of sites devoted to the mosquito-borne disease.
The World Health Organization estimates there are 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria annually; about 1.5 million to 2.7 million people die.
In Cambodia, about 170,000 people contracted the disease in 1997, the Ministry of Health estimates. Although 800 people are recorded to have died from the disease in health care centers, health experts believe the number is much higher.
Travelers seeking information on how to avoid the deadly disease and where malarial regions are can look up information from some of the world’s most eminent health organizations.
On the Web site of the US
Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/publications/brochures/malaria.htm), travelers can look up basic information about the disease, find out about anti-malarial drugs and their side effects, and learn about self-treatment measures if they get malaria in a remote area before they can get to a doctor.
The WHO Web site of its Division of Control of Tropical Diseases (www.who.int/ctd/html
/malaria.html)has information for travelers, including a map of where malaria cases tend to occur. The page boasts a link containing frequently asked questions about malaria as well as explanations of the global strategies to eradicate the disease.
Web sites describing how the development of a possible malaria vaccine is going are also prolific. The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases web page (www.niaid.nih.gov
/factsheets/malariares.htm) outlines how an estimated $22.8 million is being used to research the disease.
Then, in the classic style of the sometimes-too-random Web, there are a number of web sites dedicated to the mosquito. One of the better ones is funded by the US National Science Foundation. “Mosquito Bytes” (why
index.html) includes large down-loadable photos of the bloodsuckers and fact sheets on malaria.
The site also includes a whine-page where people can offer their “worst skeeter-nightmare.” Skeeter is an American slang term for mosquitoes.
The Cambodia Daily’s Web site (www.cambodia.net/malaria) keeps track of donations for an ongoing campaign to purchase mosquito nets for Cambodia’s rural poor.