MALAYSIA WILL BE THE NEXT SOURCE OF MALARIA OUTBREAK
Man has always made efforts to conquer lands. Unfortunately, burning down forests is part of the process. Because of this, monkeys are not forced to live in man’s world. The closeness of the two species has made the risk higher for both to share diseases.
A condition called monkey malaria was discovered in the early part of the 1900s, but it only became a concern to public health in the last fifteen years. Before, experts concluded that it was rare for parasites of the disease (30 species) to infect man. It seems that reported cases of monkey malaria (P. knowlesi infection) rose to 15,000 since 2008. In that same year, 50 deaths have been reported.
The rise in monkey malaria infection in Malaysia is brought about by forest loss and malaria detection. The country has more cases of the disease than other countries in Southeast Asia. The cases of monkey malaria in Malaysia increased tenfold, while human malaria cases dropped dramatically.