Malaria is a serious and ancient disease caused by one-celled Plasmodium parasites, and malaria is spread by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The symptoms of malaria include periodic chills, fever, headache, and sweating. Complications affecting the kidneys, liver, brain, and blood can be fatal. Malaria is a major health problem in the tropics, where it afflicts up to 500 million people every year.
Malaria is killing more people worldwide than previously thought, but the number of deaths has fallen rapidly as efforts to combat the disease have ramped up, according to a new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
More than 1.2 million people died from malaria worldwide in 2010, nearly twice the number found in the most recent comprehensive study of the disease. The researchers say that deaths from malaria have been missed by previous studies because of the assumption that the disease mainly kills children under five. They found that more than 78,000 children aged 5 to 14, and more than 445,000 people aged 15 and older died from malaria in 2010, meaning that 42 percent of all malaria deaths were in people aged 5 and older.
The study also found that while the overall number of malaria deaths is higher than earlier reports, the trend in malaria deaths has followed a similar downward pattern. Starting in 1985, malaria deaths grew every year before peaking in 2004 at 1.8 million deaths worldwide. Since then, the number of deaths has fallen annually and, between 2007 and 2010, the decline in deaths has been more than seven percent each year.
Researchers say the biggest drivers of the decline in malaria deaths have been the scaleup of insecticide-treated bed nets and artemisinin-combination treatments. This has been accomplished through the advent of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria & Tuberculosis in 2001 and the creation of organizations focused on fighting malaria, such as the World Health Organization's Roll Back Malaria, Malaria No More and Nothing But Nets. Overall funding for malaria efforts grew from less than 250 million U.S. dollars annually in 2001 to more than two billion in 2009, according to the researchers' latest estimates.
Do you know anyone who suffers from equinophobia, pluviophobia or leukophobia? Or, to put it another way, do you know anyone who is very afraid of horses, rain or the colour white? You probably don’t, and yet these are recognized medical conditions, though very rare ones.
According to many surveys, more than ten per cent of people in the United States have some kind of phobia (the word comes from the Greek phobós, meaning fear). There are, of course, dozens of different kinds, ranging from the obscure to the well known. The names of most of them have been created by adding ‘phobia’ to a Greek or Latin root – a process that has turned into something of a word game, with people inventing names for conditions that perhaps exist only in theory (for example androidophobia, the fear of robots).
True phobias consist of an intense fear that produces a very strong desire to avoid the object of that fear. Without specialist help they are very difficult to control and tend to disrupt the daily life of the sufferer.
Phobias often originate from upsetting experiences earlier in life – for example an intense fear of dogs (cynophobia) often comes from having been bitten by one; In some cases, however, experts suggest phobias are to some extent evolutionary, arising not from personal experience but from inherited memory lying deep in our brains. Arachnophobia and ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes) are often suggested as examples: for our distant ancestors, who lived closer to nature than we do, fear of poisonous spiders and snakes would have served the useful evolutionary purpose of helping them avoid potentially fatal bites.
A common technique for treating some phobias is that of ‘progressive exposure’ in which sufferers are encouraged by a therapist to gradually get closer to the object of their fear. The idea is that at each step the patient realizes nothing bad is happening to them, which should lead to their fear gradually decreasing. With someone who is terrified of spiders, for example, the therapist might start by showing them a picture of a spider, then introducing a real spider in a glass box and slowly moving the box closer to them, then finally having them hold the spider in the palm of their hand. Therapy of this kind is said to be very effective, although in this case perhaps not very enjoyable.
(Note: Answer the questions or complete the statements in NO MORE THAN EIGHT WORDS)
81. When we want to create a name to describe the condition of a person who has the fear of ice, the name is usually ended with ________________.
82. A sufferer of a true phobia usually desires strongly to ______________.
83. What are the two possible reasons for different kinds of phobias?
84. In the last paragraph, the writer gives an example of the treatment of someone who is terrified of spiders to illustrate the meaning of _________________________________.