Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not so funny

Some people aren't drinking their G & Ts. The Joongang Ilbo has an article about Malaria making a comeback. I've forgotten a great deal of what I was taught about malaria but I recall there are a few different forms and they are described by the length of their cycle. The least deadly, but still exhausting form has a cycle of three or four days. The long cycle gives the victim some time to recover between bouts. The most deadly form, Plasmodium falciparum, has no established cycle and the fever and chills come almost constantly, allowing no time to recover.

In Korea, another deadly form, P vivax, or tertian malaria, can be found.
Tertian malaria is not the deadliest form of the disease, but it is recurring and is the most widespread. This year, 338 people have been afflicted.

After an epidemic in 1970 was stopped, there were fewer than 100 malaria patients by the early 1990s. In 2000, however, there were 4,142. The number briefly decreased to 864 in 2004; in the past two years it has climbed back to 2,000.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified 22 cities and districts in Gangwon, Gyeonggi and Incheon as “malaria danger zones,” with 10 out of 1 million people affected annually.

The stats seem funny to me. Is 10 out of a million averaged over ten years? Korea has fifty million people so 500 is 10 out of a million. Frequently the number of cases is greater than that, but more, if the disease is only in the northernmost cities, we are talking about a much smaller total population. They say reporters don't understand stats, but it could be a bad translation.

Wikipedia on malaria.

1 comment:

Masuro said...

I'll stick with the tonic, I think. I didn't know parts of Gangwon had malaria. Hopefully not Anmok.