In 2011, 216 million people were infected with malaria—and 655,000 lost their lives to the mosquito-transmitted parasite. With symptoms such as crippling nausea, fever and convulsions, it’s safe to say that it’s a nasty sucker to contract and, if you’re in Africa, it's tricky to avoid.
But researchers at the University of Cape Town in South Africa recently announced that they may have found a cure: A one-and-done drug that instantly knocks out malaria parasites (even those that have become resistant to typical treatments) in a single dose, sans side effects. As of now, there’s only one hiccup: The drug has only been tested in animals.
Clinical trials are set to begin in humans in 2013, and it’s possible that the cure could hit pharmacies in the next seven years. Granted, this sounds like a long time—especially if you’re in the throes of fighting for your life. But in the long term, the discovery could help stop 24 percent of child deaths in Africa—and be a big relief for any who hope to travel into the buggy sub-Sahara.
Via National Geographic