2009.03.21: March 21, 2009: Headlines: COS - Solomon Islands: Malaria: Safety: Examiner: Solomon Islands RPCV Rachel Hillier Pratt writes: A week into it, I figured out I had malaria and began the treatment. I took large doses of chloroquine which kills the parasite in exactly the same way it could kill me. I win because Iím bigger.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Solomon Islands: Peace Corps Solomon Islands : Peace Corps Solomon Islands: Newest Stories: 2009.03.21: March 21, 2009: Headlines: COS - Solomon Islands: Malaria: Safety: Examiner: Solomon Islands RPCV Rachel Hillier Pratt writes: A week into it, I figured out I had malaria and began the treatment. I took large doses of chloroquine which kills the parasite in exactly the same way it could kill me. I win because Iím bigger.

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.16.199) on Thursday, April 09, 2009 - 5:33 pm: Edit Post

Solomon Islands RPCV Rachel Hillier Pratt writes: A week into it, I figured out I had malaria and began the treatment. I took large doses of chloroquine which kills the parasite in exactly the same way it could kill me. I win because Iím bigger.

Solomon Islands RPCV Rachel Hillier Pratt writes: A week into it, I figured out I had malaria and began the treatment. I took large doses of chloroquine which kills the parasite in exactly the same way it could kill me. I win because Iím bigger.

Entering the Peace Corps, the doctors immunized me against typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C (gamma-globulin), Japanese Encephalitis, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, TDaP, Pneumococcal, poliomyelitis, RPD (test for tuberculosis), and Tetanus. Before they sent me to live in the South Pacific jungles, they handed me a yearís worth of malaria prophylaxis, and a few weeklong regiments of malaria treatment, too. I thought, the malaria prophylaxis was gonna work, cause why else swallow those nasty, bitter pills day after day? Nonetheless, the parasite got into my blood stream through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. She took my blood from the back of my ankle and let the parasites swim in. This turns out to be a great place to suck blood, because the back to the ankle has delicate skin without much nerve sensitivity. In that particular spot, sheís out of eyesight, too. Most times she doesnít even leave an itchy welt behind. In the Solomon Islands, women must wear skirts, so I was a goner. With my ankles readily exposed each evening, it was only a matter of time.

Solomon Islands RPCV Rachel Hillier Pratt writes: A week into it, I figured out I had malaria and began the treatment. I took large doses of chloroquine which kills the parasite in exactly the same way it could kill me. I win because Iím bigger.

Targeting malaria sexytime: Blocking reproductive enzymes

March 21, 10:53 AM ∑ 2 comments


Mosquito loaded with malaria

Entering the Peace Corps, the doctors immunized me against typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C (gamma-globulin), Japanese Encephalitis, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, TDaP, Pneumococcal, poliomyelitis, RPD (test for tuberculosis), and Tetanus. Before they sent me to live in the South Pacific jungles, they handed me a yearís worth of malaria prophylaxis, and a few weeklong regiments of malaria treatment, too.

I thought, the malaria prophylaxis was gonna work, cause why else swallow those nasty, bitter pills day after day?

Nonetheless, the parasite got into my blood stream through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. She took my blood from the back of my ankle and let the parasites swim in.

This turns out to be a great place to suck blood, because the back to the ankle has delicate skin without much nerve sensitivity. In that particular spot, sheís out of eyesight, too. Most times she doesnít even leave an itchy welt behind.

In the Solomon Islands, women must wear skirts, so I was a goner. With my ankles readily exposed each evening, it was only a matter of time.

In my case, it took three days for the parasites to explode my red blood cells and enter my blood stream in mass. The immune system reacts then, with a spiking fever (from normal to 104 in about a half an hour). That is when the headache comes, the shakes, joint pain, and the inability to move at all. Upon the third round, I was in bed, with a fever of 104, sleeping the day away. It can get so bad that only an injection of malaria medicine can save you.

This is exactly how the parasite likes it. ď Symptoms for malaria include dizziness, shortened breath, fever, chills, nausea, coma, and death.Ē Why not just fall asleep? Stop all that pesky moving and swatting. Allow the mosquitoes to land and suck up the blood that has now become a parasiteís breeding ground?

A week into it, I figured out I had malaria and began the treatment. I took large doses of chloroquine which kills the parasite in exactly the same way it could kill me. I win because Iím bigger.

See, parasites have similar cellular systems to human beings. When we take antibiotics, we kill a prokaryote, which dies from chemicals that do not affect our cells (except our bacteria-like mitochondria). But a parasite is a eukaryote, just like us. The only reason the parasite dies from the malaria treatment is because we can tolerate more poison before we die.

ďMalaria kills more than 3,000 children under the age of five each year and more than 1.5 million each year. ď

Now, a new drug promises to kill the parasite specifically. The parasite has various phases of development. Some of the stages take place within the human host and others within the mosquito host. During the human infection, the malaria enters the blood cell and eats the hemoglobin (the red part) in order to produce an amino acid that allows it to reproduce. The new drug interferes with malaria metabolism by blocking the necessary enzymes for reproduction.

Yeah! I say. This is a good thing, especially in a warming world which brings the mosquitoes north and into new territory. The US has had malaria in the southern states all the way up to Washington D.C. in the past.

In the meantime, New Mexicans are safe. The Anopheles mosquito doesnít live at these elevations and sheís the only one that carries malaria. Her larva can survive in a thimbleful of water, but she canít take our cold evenings and wind. In the meantime, itís good to remember we arenít completely safe from mosquito born illness. The recent outbreaks of West Nile prove mosquitos can be more than just a nuisance.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: March, 2009; Peace Corps Solomon Islands; Directory of Solomon Islands RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Solomon Islands RPCVs; Malaria; Lariam; Safety and Security of Volunteers





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Story Source: Examiner

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Solomon Islands; Malaria; Safety

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