Ivermectin Could Control Malaria
Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug that earned its developers a Nobel Prize for its success in treating multiple tropical diseases, is also serving to be a much needed tool for stopping malaria transmission.
Researchers presented their findings after they carried out a trial of the drug in the West African country of Burkina Faso. The findings showed that almost 16% of the malaria episodes among children in four villages in the past few months were found to be decreased.
Researcher said that majority of the population in these villages were given a single dose of the anti-parasite drug ivermectin every three weeks.
These villages were located in an area where that experiences a high burden of both malaria and worm disease. “These are preliminary results but we expect to see further reductions in malaria fevers as we continue with the trial, which is occurring during the rainy season when malaria transmission typically peaks”, said Brian D. Foy, the lead investigator on the project from Colorado State University.
Foy also mentioned that a drop in malaria fevers were also seen after the use of the ivermectin and using insecticide treated bednets.
Several previously conducted studies have shown that ivermectin, even at very low levels, is toxic to the Anopheles mosquitoes that carry malaria. The trail in Burkina Faso is the only way to evaluate ivermectin solely as a strategy to fight malaria disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the home to a majority of the 584,000 people including a majority of young children. A high number of people every years die from malaria in these region.
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