Malaria Vaccine Could Be in Sight

malaria vacineAccording to an article written by The Independent, a United Kingdom web based publication, scientists are making great strides in finding a possible vaccine for Malaria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die. In 2015 an estimated 214 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 438,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region. About 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs, many from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.”

The new study that The Independent reported on goes on to explain that scientists are exposing adults to weakened versions of the malaria causing parasite. This is usually what vaccines and flu shots are like during their final stages. A weakened version of the virus is exposed to the human body and the body learns to form immunities against whatever disease has plagued it. The new study is providing results that show that these adults are showing an immunity to the malaria that lasts about a year long.

Kirsten E. Lyke, a researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, had this to say about the study, “These results are really important. Malaria has such a devastating effect on children, especially in Africa. This vaccine has the potential to help travelers, military personnel, and children in malaria-endemic areas.” The study goes on to report that people given this in-testing vaccine are given “sterile protection” which means that people cannot get the malaria or pass it on to other people.