New drug-resistant strains of the parasite that causes malaria have been identified in western Cambodia. There have been reports of drug resistance in the region since 2008, and the problem has now spread to other parts of South-east Asia.
Scientists investigating the new organism say that all the most effective drugs developed in the last few decades ‘have been one by one rendered useless by the remarkable ability of this parasite to mutate and develop resistance.’ They do not know why this part of Cambodia should be such a hotbed of resistance.
In 2010, there were more than 200 million cases of malaria and 600,000 deaths – 90 per cent of them in Africa. The World Health Organisation has made preventing the spread of resistant strains a major objective.
See also my blogs of 11 April, 30 May, and 24 Sept, 2009; 21 Oct, 2010; 23 Sept, 2011 and 23 May, 2012.
*I’ve just started to post a series of videos on Britain’s 20 Worst Military Disasters. This is the first - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Bgf-xHHGE