UK Warns of Malaria Risk Groundwork for Decades of Study

The UK’s Department of Health has warned that a warming climate could bring malaria to the European country, a London newspaper reported last week.

In a review of the effects of climate change on UK health, the government agency said warmer summers would increase the risk of tropical diseases like malaria, the Guardian reported.

Malaria is not unknown to Britain. More than 2,000 cases a year are recorded there, though most of those come from holiday-makers returning home from tropical climes, the paper reported.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, malaria was endemic, and even playwright William Shakespeare wrote about it, the paper said, citing David Rogers, an Oxford University professor. Better housing, drained swamps and humans living farther from animals all contributed to the disease’s decline.

Mosquitoes in the UK are capable of carrying the disease, which kills as many as 1.5 million worldwide each year, and as the temperatures rise during the warm season, there is also the danger of the deadliest form of malaria, plasmodium falciparum, of spreading there, Rogers told the Guardian.

P falciparum is Cambodia’s No 1 killer of adults. It can cause uncomplicated malaria, with symptoms like headache, muscle pain, joint pain, jaundice or an enlarged spleen and liver. It can also lead to severe malaria, which leads to delirium, agitation, coma or death.

Around 5 percent of Cambodia’s population is at risk to malaria, according to the Ministry of Health. Around 150,000 cases are reported each year.

 

 

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