BANGKOK: A form of malaria that is resistant to standard treatment has spread to Vietnam for the first time, researchers warned on Friday.
The strain was originally detected in Cambodia in 2007, and experts are calling for action before it reaches other areas such as India or Africa.
“It spread like a wildfire to Vietnam,” professor Arjen Dondorp, head of malaria department at the tropical medicine research unit at Mahidol University in Bangkok, said. The co-author of an article published on Thursday in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases added: “It started 10 years ago in western Cambodia. It is very fit and spreads very easily. This resistance is taking over.
“Cambodia already changed to a new drug, likely to last one or two years.
Vietnam has to change now.” After its detection in western Cambodia in 2007, the strain then spread to northeastern Thailand, southern Laos and eastern Myanmar, a previous study by Dondorp and colleagues said.
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017