Final results of a study looking at a leading malaria vaccine candidate has shown it doesn’t work very well and its initial protection fades over time, the Associated Press reported.
The AP said the vaccine protects about one-third of the children vaccinated, so the developers are moving ahead with it despite the results. GlaxoSmithKline has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the vaccine, which is likely to be the world’s first licensed shot for malaria, the AP reported.
Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about malaria and how it is currently treated and prevented.
Q: What is malaria?
A: “Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite. It is common in many areas of the world, including parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.”
Q: What are the symptoms and effects of the disease?
A: “Symptoms include fever, chills, abdominal pain, diarrhea, yellowing of the skin and confusion.”
Q: How is it contracted?
A: “The disease is contracted after being bitten by a mosquito. Mosquitoes carry the parasite that causes malaria.”
Q: How is it treated?
A: “Malaria is treated with medicine, given by mouth or via an IV, that targets the parasite.”
Q: What are the current methods of prevention, and how well do they work?
A: “People who are traveling to areas where malaria is common can take medications to prevent the infection. When in these areas of the world, avoidance of mosquito bites is also very important. This can be achieved by staying in at night, wearing long sleeves and pants, using bug spray containing DEET, and sleeping inside or using a bed net treated with bug spray.”