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Story Publication logo June 11, 2016

Skirmishing Over the Scope of the Threat


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Can an emergency plan to wipe out all malaria parasites in the Mekong work before multiple drug...

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Image by Jeffrey Lau. Cambodia, 2015.

Since resistance to today's best malaria drug, artemisinin, was discovered in the Mekong region the late 2000s, experts have feared that it would follow the route of chloroquine, an earlier malaria drug, and sweep out of the Mekong region and into Africa, killing millions of children. But as scientists probe the current threat, they are finding that artemisinin resistance is a very different beast than its predecessor. In the Mekong, for instance, artemisinin resistance is not only spreading, as did chloroquine, but it is also emerging independently, dooming efforts to build a firewall around the region to contain it. Questions remain, but what is already abundantly clear is that very different strategies are needed to stop it.

(The rest of the article is behind a paywall)


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