Will fighting COVID-19 disrupt progress against malaria?

That is the key question explored in a recent article from The Economist titled “Masked up, ready to battle bugs“. As individuals in developing nations leave crowded cities for fear of COVID, they may be at more risk for malaria due to the presence of more standing water (which attracts malarial mosquitos) used for irrigation in rural areas. Additionally, COVID has disrupted supply chains for the distribution of mosquito nets. COVID-19 also makes treating malaria more complicated.

Governments in rich countries have pushed a consistent message for COVID-19. If you children have a fever, keep them at home. “That message would be an unmitigated disaster in countries with high malaria transmission, because a child with a fever can die from malaria in 24 hours,” says Melanie Renshaw of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance….Such a child must quickly be tested for malaria and, if the test is positive, be given anti-malarial drugs.

One can clearly see how the COVID-19 pandemic affects not only people who suffer from the disease, but also affects the treatment of other conditions–like malaria. The interplay of COVID-19 with other diseases is an area which requires more studies and more solutions.

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