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Lancet. 2000 Jul 22;356(9226):330-2.

DDT house spraying and re-emerging malaria.

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Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.



This article discusses the role of DDT in the re-emerging cases of malaria worldwide. It is noted that malaria is reappearing in urban areas and in countries that previously eradicated the disease, including the Amazon Basin, South and North Korea, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan. In addition, the frequency of imported malaria has also increased in industrial countries. Although many factors contribute to such a phenomenon, the strongest correlation is with decreasing numbers of houses sprayed with DDT. Early studies of DDT showed repellent, irritant, and toxic actions that worked against malaria vector mosquitoes. Sprayed on house walls, DDT exerted powerful control over indoor transmission of malaria. However, since the ban of DDT in the 1970s and the implementation of alternative malaria-control programs there has been a global outburst of malaria epidemics. In view of this, it is recommended that the global response to burgeoning malaria rates allow for DDT residual house spraying where it is known to be effective and necessary. Regulations and policies of industrialized countries and international agencies that block financial assistance to countries that use DDT for malaria control should be eliminated.

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