Wednesday, December 28, 2005

News on the malaria front

Jonathon has had an on-again off-again fever since Monday so I took him to the clinic yesterday. Thankfully he's cleared of malaria or a bacterial infection, so it's a random virus once again. When I took him in, he just had the fever and an upset tummy. By the afternoon he developed a sore throat, runny nose, diarrhea and everything else associated with a bad cold. Figures.

Of course, the first thing considered when a fever presents itself here is malaria. Malaria shows itself differently with every person, every strain and every case, which makes it notoriously difficult to self-diagnose. A blood test after 24-hours of fever is the most surefire way to know (prior to 24-hours you may get a false-negative and require a second blood test, but frustratingly enough, you don't even really need a fever to have malaria).

Ever wonder why malaria is such a tough disease? Yesterday's BBC News article on "How Malaria Dupes the Immune System" shines some light on the subject: malaria parasites can cloak themselves with up to 60 different protein disguises.

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