Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Control malaria by segmenting sleeping arrangements

Date:
November 18, 2013
Source:
University of Guelph
Summary:
Better malaria control might come from segregating household sleeping arrangements, according to a new study. The researchers found malaria eradication related more to household size than to a country's wealth or temperature. They found that when average household size drops below four persons, malaria extermination is much more likely. "When we controlled for all the variables, the factor that had the most explanatory power on malaria control was household size," said Prof. Ross McKitrick.

Better malaria control might come from segregating household sleeping arrangements, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Guelph professor.

The researchers found malaria eradication related more to household size than to a country's wealth or temperature. Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick and two Finnish professors, Larry and Lena Huldén, found that when average household size drops below four persons, malaria extermination is much more likely.

Malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The research team examined data on malaria insect vectors, as well as demographic, sociological and environmental factors for 232 countries. Malaria is still prevalent in 106 countries.

"When we controlled for all the variables, the factor that had the most explanatory power on malaria control was household size," said McKitrick.

"Malaria-bearing mosquitoes mainly feed at night, and tend to return to the same location for blood meals. The more people who sleep in one area, the greater the likelihood of an infected mosquito spreading the parasite to a new, uninfected victim."

Malaria infects red blood cells and can cause anemia, nausea, fever and, in some cases, death. Each year, 225 million people are infected and 800,000 die, mostly children.

"It is a common misconception that malaria is a tropical disease, and with 90 per cent of malaria deaths taking place in Africa, it is easy to see why people believe this," said McKitrick.

"But historically, malaria has occurred in all climate zones including the Arctic, and was endemic in North America and Europe a hundred years ago. In many cases, the disease disappeared even in countries that made no efforts to fight it, while others that tried to eradicate it failed. We found declining average household size key to explaining this pattern. "

The researchers looked at factors such as gross domestic product per capita, urbanization and slums, latitude, mean temperature, forest coverage, national DDT use, household size and even religion.

Countries with a significant Muslim population generally had large households but did a better job of eradicating malaria, with the researchers speculating it may be because of their segregated sleeping arrangements. Males and females generally sleep in separate areas.

As household size continues to decline, McKitrick said malaria should gradually disappear. But countries need not wait for that to happen.

In Vanuatu -- with an average 5.6 people per household -- providing bed nets and effective drug distribution and surveillance since 1996 has effectively wiped out malaria.

"The key factor is segmenting sleeping quarters and greater use of bed nets in those countries where malaria is still prevalent," he said.

"Individual bed nets can emulate a household with several bedrooms, making it difficult for the mosquitoes to transmit the parasite to other household members."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lena Huldén, Ross McKitrick, Larry Huldén. Average household size and the eradication of malaria. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 2013; DOI: 10.1111/rssa.12036

Cite This Page:

University of Guelph. "Control malaria by segmenting sleeping arrangements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118111956.htm>.
University of Guelph. (2013, November 18). Control malaria by segmenting sleeping arrangements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118111956.htm
University of Guelph. "Control malaria by segmenting sleeping arrangements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118111956.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

AFP (Aug. 27, 2014) — For many people in the autumn of their lives, walking up stairs is the biggest physical challenge they face. But in Japan, race tracks, hammer or pole vault await competitors at the Kyoto Masters, some of them more than 100 years old. Duration: 02:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins