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From the Townsend Letter
July 2006


Web Page Potpourri
Mosquitoes and Malaria, Travel Immunizations, Microscopy and Worms
by Marjorie Roswell

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Mosquitoes and Malaria
Did you know that male mosquitoes dine mostly on flower nectar? The pregnant females are the ones that suck your blood, sometimes leaving deadly diseases behind. (If you want to be free of mosquitoes, you could move to the North or South Pole.)

Mosquito Bite Prevention
For those in the more middling latitudes, this is a terrific guide to preventing mosquito bites naturally. The author, Tamarack Song, is Director of the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin. Mr. Song identifies sugary food as a lure for mosquitoes, noting that sugar revs up the metabolism, resulting in body heat that draws mosquito bites. His guide to bite prevention goes beyond diet, including methods of location, movement, clothing, time of day, and natural "skin slatherings."

Global Malaria Programme
The World Health Organization is fighting a global battle against malaria. The main site is rich with content, but additionally, the "About Us" page links to the Regional Offices, each of which maintains its own malaria data.

CDC Malaria Page
After World War II, the Atlanta, Georgia Office of Malaria Control in War Areas was succeeded by the Communicable Diseases Center (now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Today, the CDC has a Malaria Hotline for Health Professionals.

Life Cycle of Plasmodium
This is a sixty-second animation. It runs too quickly for full comprehension the first time around, but a few viewings may make it easier to understand the CDC Life Cycle Chart above. A Google Image search of "life cycle of plasmodium" yields close to 50 more illustrations.

World Malarial Risk Chart
How to Protect Yourself Against Malaria
This is a treasure-trove of risk data by country, along with malaria protection information from the International Association of Medical Assistance to Travelers.

Maps of Malaria Risk Using Climate Data
These particular maps are based on long-term climate data, not on actual malaria incidence.

Have Health Concerns About Lariam Been Overstated?
Discussions on this page includes topics such as, "Yes – Health Concerns have been sensationalized," "No – Lariam's side-effects have not been properly disclosed," and "A Returned Volunteer looks at Lariam."

Here is a helpful guide to understanding this page:
PC = Peace Corp;
PCV = Peace Corp Volunteer;
RPCV = Returning Peace Corp Volunteer;
UPI = United Press International.

Herbal Treatment for Malaria
Magnetic Fields May Destroy Malaria
University of Nevada, Reno Research Team Discovers Hormone That Causes Malaria Mosquito to Urinate
research_team_discovers_hormone_ that_causes_malaria_mosquito_to_urinate.html

These links describe treatment using herbs and magnets, as well as a non-toxic method of targeting the mosquito population (toxic only to mosquitoes, in any case).

Traditional Herbal Medicines for Malaria
Rapid Responses
Over 1200 plant species are used to treat malaria and fever. This interesting survey by Merlin L Willcox and Gerard Bodeker appeared in the British Medical Journal in November 2004. The full text article is available on the Web in both PDF and HTML formats. Note the "Rapid Responses" from readers, some of whom raise thorny political issues regarding the effectiveness of lower-cost herbs and whether further research in this area will "create a second-class medicine for those who can't afford otherwise." One respondent writes, "Since malaria is one of the world's leading causes of mortality, anti-malarials are potentially one of the biggest money spinners on the planet. It is therefore greatly in the interests of those who profit out of antimalarial drugs to have the development of possible alternatives condemned by the highest level of professional scientist who may be willing to do so."

International Travel and Immunizations

International Travel and Health
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, this publication of the World Health Organization shares the health risks and the vaccination requirements around the world. The document is close to 200 pages but divided into easily accessible chapters in PDF format. A printed edition is published every two years, but the website is updated more frequently.

Pro- and Anti-Vaccination Resources on the Web
TLDP readers may be interested in the February/March 2003 Web Page Potpourri column which focuses on vaccinations. It is available on the Web in three places:

Think Twice: Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ at this previously covered site, for instance, is helpful, noting that we have the legal right to reject "mandatory" vaccines, even for foreign travel.

Immunizations & Immigration
It appears that the following legal standard applies to non-US citizens who want to enter the United States: Vaccination requirements may be waived "under such circumstances as the Attorney General provides by regulation, with respect to whom the requirement of such a vaccination would be contrary to the alien's religious beliefs or moral convictions." I have not seen similar legal language on Americans traveling to other countries, and I welcome readers' research on this issue.

Online Class on the Dangers of Vaccination
Taught by Sheri Nakken, RN, MA, Classical Homeopath.

Health Information for International Travel
Travelers' Health

How to Travel and Stay Healthy
This is standard mainstream medical guidance on tropical diseases, from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp.

International Association of Medical Assistance to Travelers
In addition to the malaria information mentioned above, this organization also makes available a World Immunization Chart. Membership is free.

International Society for Infectious Diseases maintains ProMED-mail, the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases.

Fit for Travel
Travel health information from Scotland's National Health Service (NHS).


Molecular Expressions: Darkfield Microscopy
Interactive Java Tutorials - Darkfield Microscopy
Interactive Java Tutorials - Specialized Microscopy Techniques
Microscopic Photographs of Pharmaceutical Drugs
Visiting Molecular Expressions is like entering a world of museums, carnivals, and science labs all in one. There is a primer on many kinds of microscopy, including the darkfield type. There are some terrific interactive tutorials. There are galleries of colorful microscopic photographs, including artful images of Quinine and Chloroquine, two antimalarial drugs. If you click on the microscope photo in the upper left, you will find yourself in the museum. Keep clicking, and you will see four centuries of microscopy.

A One-Dollar Compound Microscope
I admit I haven't tried it, but it looks like a fun project to make a low-cost microscope that magnifies up to 75 times.

Malaria Light Microscopy: Creating a Culture of Quality
The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific has produced an excellent 73-page guide to improving competency and performance of microscopists, identifying which skills are needed by villages, health care facilities, and nations.

Parasites and Worms

Are You Clean Inside? Victims of a Toxic Colon
All the testimonials on this site certainly are intriguing. I don't normally include commercial sites in this column, but how could I not share comments such as, "I turned and looked in the toilet and to my surprise their [sic] were five worms," and "My energy went through the roof! I lost 18 lbs and a round worm." A two-month supply of the Colonix Program, including recommended probiotics and anti-parasite support, costs a little more than $150.

Natural Treatments for Parasites
If you can get past the sponsored links and marketing that clogs these days, you'll find a terrific guide in Cathy Wong, ND.

Raw Garlic for Parasites and Viral Infections
A clunky translation from a German article, this still imparts useful information. I generally use raw garlic in salad dressings and pesto.

Beyond Swollen Limbs, a Disease's Hidden Agony
Dose of Tenacity Wears Down an Ancient Horror
New York Times Video
The New York Times did a powerful series in April on "Diseases on the Brink," including cover stories on Guinea Worm and Lymphatic Filariasis. By the time you read this, the sites with video content might not be freely available on the Internet. It's worth looking, though, for these powerful videos: "Diseases on the Brink: Guinea Worm"; "A Disease's Hidden Agony"; and "Jimmy Carter: Eradicating Trachoma." You should be able to read the articles at any library.

New York Times "On the Brink" Series Examines Control, Eradication
The Carter Center Health Programs
The Carter Center may provide another route to The New York Times content. The site also contains information on the Center's work to end the suffering from these terrible diseases. With programs to protect the water supply, cases of Guinea worm disease have been reduced worldwide by more than 99.5%, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to approximately 11,500 cases in 2005. Guinea Worm, the Carter Center notes, is the first disease slated to be overcome without a vaccine or treatment.

Marjorie Roswell


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