Superbug's spread to Vietnam threatens malaria control

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam's main malaria treatment is failing at an alarming rate because of a highly drug-resistant superbug that has spread into the southern part of the country from western Cambodia, scientists said Thursday.

In their letter published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the scientists said the spread of the superbug across the enter Mekong sub-region is a serious threat to malaria control and eradication efforts.

"This could result in an important increase in malaria transmission in these countries and severely jeopardize their malaria elimination efforts," said Arjen Dondorp, co-author of the letter and head of malaria and deputy head of the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand.

Co-author and colleague Nicholas White said in an accompanying news release that the drug resistance was a public health emergency that must be treated urgently.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health had said in April that malaria resistant to artemisinin has been reported in five provinces and was threatening to spread nationwide.

Vietnam reported 4,000 confirmed malaria cases in 2016, down 52 percent comparing with the previous year, its health ministry said in the report in April. The government has set a target of eliminating malaria by 2030.

Resistance to the treatment has previously been detected in parts of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease especially deadly to children. The World Health Organization estimates 429,000 people, mostly in Africa, died from the illness in 2015.

Key strategies against malaria target mosquitoes. A vaccine was licensed in 2015, but it only works in about one-third of children and has yet to be recommended for use by WHO.

Related News

Remembering 1963 eruption, Bali's elderly wary of...

Dec 4, 2017

Indonesia's glowering Mount Agung has seemingly quieted, but some survivors of the volcano's...

Bali volcano emits wispy plume of steam, flights...

Dec 4, 2017

Gushing ash from a Bali volcano dissipated into a wispy plume of steam, and Australian airlines...

Diphtheria deaths in Indonesia spark immunization...

Dec 11, 2017

Indonesia has begun a campaign to immunize 8 million children and teenagers against diphtheria...

Indonesia hard-line Muslims protest ban on...

Jan 12, 2018

Muslim hard-liners have protested in Indonesia's capital against Facebook's blocking of accounts...

Indonesia investigates online insults of Brunei's...

Jan 22, 2018

The Sultan of Brunei has made a complaint of defamation to the Indonesian police about an Instagram...

Malaysia detains 3 suspected militants, foils...

Aug 31, 2016

Malaysian police said Wednesday they had foiled possible attacks on the eve of the country's...

You may also like these

The Latest: Malaysia says no evidence against N....

Mar 2, 2017

Malaysia's attorney general says a North Korean man will be released and deported because of lack...

The Latest: Post-mortem found VX caused Kim Jong...

Oct 3, 2017

A post-mortem report submitted as evidence in the trial of two women accused of murdering the half...

The Latest: VX-tainted samples examined in...

Oct 4, 2017

Prosecutors and defense lawyers examined samples where VX nerve agent was found in the death of the...

Singapore in battle mode against Zika after...

Sep 2, 2016

Singapore is encouraging residents to use insect repellent, clear blockages in drains and wear...

Thai police look for suspects after bombs hit...

Aug 13, 2016

Thais and tourists headed warily into a big holiday weekend as authorities looked for suspects and...

Search
Financial Markets