Saturday, January 21, 2006

More Malaria fighting news

There's a drug, Artemisinin, with a 95% malaria cure rate, but it must be combined with other drugs to entirely wipe out the disease. Unfortunately, because Artemisinin is such a rapid and nearly thorough cure, it's not being prescribed properly to avoid malaria adapting and becoming resistant.

There is hope, of course. While new drugs are years off, an inventor in South Africa has developed an anti-malaria wristwatch. Although the impetus behind the wristwatch development is a little frustrating ("Lubbe was approached by a major mining company to develop the device after it found high levels of malaria among workers in Africa was hurting productivity") the idea is amazing: monitoring the blood of those who wear it and sounding an alarm when the parasite is detected...It picks up the parasite and destroys it so early that the possibility of dying is absolutely zero and you don't even feel the early cold symptoms...

Now that's an invention.

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