Research: malaria appeared much earlier than previously thought

New bioarchaeological studies have shown that malaria appeared on the planet 7 thousand years ago. Her

the appearance was previously associated with the beginning of the development of agriculture.

Study lead author Melandri Vlock ofThe Faculty of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand, notes that this is a groundbreaking discovery that is changing the way people think about malaria, still one of the deadliest diseases in the world.

“Until now, we thought that malaria had becomea global threat to humans when we turned to agriculture, but our research shows that, at least in Southeast Asia, this disease was a threat to human groups long before that. ”

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The disease remains a serious problem inhealth care. In 2019, the World Health Organization reported 229 million cases of malaria worldwide. At the same time, 67% of deaths from malaria occur in children under the age of five.

Although malaria is not visible in archaeologicalsources, this disease changed evolutionary history, causing consequences visible in prehistoric skeletons. Some genetic mutations can lead to the inheritance of thalassemia, a genetic disease that, in a milder form, provides partial protection against malaria.

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