Malaria spreads to the North Pole

Researchers at SF State have discovered
malaria in birds in Alaska, including the
Common Redpoll, above.. (Picture
Malaria is no longer recognized as endemic tropical and subtropical regions. The disease is spread by mosquitoes is also found in birds in Alaska, the U.S. state that is located near the north pole. "Global climate change is encouraging malaria farther north," the alert to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE, issue of September 20, 2012.

The spread of malaria near the northern end of the earth potentially devastating arctic bird species that have never come across this disease. "These findings could help scientists understand the effects of climate change on the spread of human malaria caused by parasites of the same," said Ravinder Sehgal, a professor from San Francisco State University who was involved in the study.

The researchers examined blood samples collected from poultry four locations based on different latitudes in Alaska, the Anchorage (Alaska's largest city) as points south, Denali and Fairbanks as the mid-point, and a point north of Coldfoot. Sampling point distance from north to south stretches as far as 600 miles. Birds infected with malaria in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

The study them equipped with satellite images and other data to predict environmental changes due to global warming. Locations where the malaria parasite is able to survive in the future is also mapped. They found that in 2080 the disease will spread to the north Coldfoot and continue north. "Currently there is no avian malaria in areas above 64 degrees north latitude. However, in the future, with global warming, it likely would have changed," said Sehgal.

The researchers are still not sure how malaria spreads in Alaska. They are currently still collecting additional data to determine the species of mosquitoes that transmit the Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria.

Sehgal said the spread of malaria to the northern part of the earth is quite alarming. Therefore, many living species in the region that have not been exposed to malaria and is likely vulnerable to the deadly disease. *** [XINHUA | SCIENCEDAILY | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 4002]
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