Doctors Welcome Malaria Microchip
Now this is good news – but not for countries crippled with malaria!
Doctors have welcomed the development as more travellers go abroad without taking proper precautions against the disease.
The flu-like symptoms can be missed until the patient is critically ill.
Blood samples are placed in the microchip, which is designed to detect the strain of disease. This means the best drug can be used to treat it.
Last year a study revealed more cases of the most dangerous type of malaria than ever before are being brought back to the UK from trips abroad.
The Health Protection Agency study identified 6,753 cases of falciparum malaria diagnosed between 2002 and 2006.
Experts said many of the cases arose from visits to west Africa made by people visiting relatives and friends.
Project leader Dr Lisa Ranford-Cartwright said: “The current way of diagnosing is using a blood smear on a slide and examining it on a microscope.
“That will take a good microscopist a good hour to reach a diagnosis, it’s extremely difficult to make that diagnosis accurately.
“The chip can give us a result in as little as half an hour.”
Unfortunately, this device will only be available in the developed world, where malaria is only a problem for travellers who do not take adequate precautions, as it will be too expensive for developing countries, which are the ones that really need it!