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Scientists discover magic compound to treat malaria

Mosquito

Scientists say they have found a new compound that stops malaria in animal studies with a single, low dose.

Tests in mice showed the one-off treatment prevented infection for the full 30 days of the study.

The chemical compound fought early infection in the liver, as well as malaria parasites that were circulating in the blood.

The researchers hope their early work, published in the journal, Nature, could lead to new drugs for people.

Malaria is spread to humans by the bites of infected female mosquitoes and it is estimated that about half of the world’s population is at risk of catching the disease.

In 2015, there were 214 million new cases of malaria and 438,000 malaria deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Aside from avoiding bites by using insecticides and bed nets, people can protect themselves against malaria by taking antimalarial drugs.

But existing treatments are less than perfect – people have to take repeated doses and the parasites that cause malaria are developing resistance to these drugs.

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