Malaria's Most Deadly Form Peaks at Much Lower Temperatures Than Thought

Some encouraging, if brief, news regarding the potential spread and greater impact that malaria might have as the planet warms: New research from the USGS shows that the most deadly type of malaria, and the most common strain found in Africa, has a much lower temperature for optimal transmission than previously thought.

The research, published in Ecology Letters, shows that peak transmission of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite is at 77°F, and declines rapidly above 82°F. Previously it was thought that peak transmission occurred up to 88°F.

Though malaria is still a devastating disease, this new research, combined with previous research showing that human efforts to stop malaria are proceeding more rapidly than malaria is spreading.

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