Words of malaria wisdom

A malaria control officer from India recently told me (in Hindi):

Falciparum kills people, vivax kills the nation

It’s an old anecdote which mirrored the classic malaria scenario in the country. In 1970, Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite species associated with higher mortality, comprised only 14 percent of all cases. Still, the parasite was responsible for many deaths but it was  Plasmodium vivax which was destroying communities by incapacitating millions of workers. Now, 50 percent of reported malaria cases are P.falciparum and several outbreaks of fatal P.vivax were reported last year. How times have changed…

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