Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Malaria fight skin patch gets trial

In 2010, malaria claimed 216 million victims, and caused 655,000 deaths

A skin patch that deters malaria-carrying mosquitoes is to undergo field trials in Uganda.

The Kite mosquito patch contains chemicals designed to stop the insects detecting carbon dioxide, their main method of homing in on human skin.

The £50,000 field test implemented by the aid organisation Pilgrim Africa follows the patch's approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Michelle Brown, chief scientist and vice president of Olfactor Laboratories, the US company producing the patch, said: "The Kite mosquito patch is a breakthrough product using the worldwide discovery of the compounds capable of disrupting mosquitoes' ability to find us.

"This isn't just another mosquito product, but a powerful alternative to most products on the market, enabling people to live normal lives with a new level of protection against contracting mosquito-borne diseases."

Around 3.3 billion people live in parts of the world where malaria is a threat. In 2010 the disease claimed 216 million victims, and caused 655,000 deaths.

Of the fatal cases, 86% were children under the age of five. More than 90% of malaria infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

The field trials will help determine the final cost of the Kite patch, said a spokesman for the manufacturers.

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