New Malaria-Carrying Mosquito Species Found in Ghana

Ghana Health Services (GHS) have identified a new mosquito species, Anopheles stephensi, which transmits malaria faster than others in the country. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of GHS, said that this species, which is capable of adapting to different climatic conditions, was detected during routine screenings for malaria across Ghana. In a bid to control the spread of the mosquito species, a task force has been established in the country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Anopheles stephensi has been detected in five African countries in the past decade.

Malaria is a deadly disease that is transmitted by the bites of parasitic mosquitoes and has an incubation period of about seven days. It usually presents itself with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and weakness. Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in the world and causes the death of a child every 2 minutes. It is mostly prevalent in Africa, where it claims the lives of an average of 500 thousand people every year, with half of those deaths being children.

To curb the spread of malaria in Ghana, the Ghana Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of a new malaria vaccine, R21, developed by Oxford University, on April 13. It is hoped that this vaccine, combined with the efforts of the task force established by GHS, will help to prevent the spread of the disease and save countless lives.

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