嗨 我是Minute Earth的凯特
Hi, this is Kate from Minute Earth.
While newer health threats grab most of the headlines,
malaria – the mosquito-borne, cell-rupturing blood parasite
remains among the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.
But before we go blaming that on malaria, it’s worth noting that
we humans made this parasite the killer it is today.
That’s not to say we somehow invented malaria,
It evolved WAY before we did. In sub-Saharan Africa,
likely from an aquatic algae that somehow began hitching mosquito
rides into lots of animals and feasting on their liver and blood cells;
eventually, about half a million years ago, it landed in humans.
But the earliest forms of human malaria weren’t actually that deadly.
In fact, because human populations were so scattered and small,
any mega-deadly varieties of malaria would have quickly stranded themselves and fizzled out.
Instead, the earliest malaria parasites wreaked slow havoc on their hunter-gatherer hosts,
allowing themselves years to hitchhike from group to group.
But then humans invented agriculture, which turned out to be a real game-changer for malaria,
for two reasons.
First, clearing forests for cropland increased the number of puddles,
or, as we might as well call them, mosquito sex dens.
Second, our new stable food source led to bigger, denser human populations.
Enter Plasmodium falciparum, a new, nasty strain of malaria
that had recently hopped over from gorillas to humans and just so happened
to travel extremely well inside the very types of mosquitos we were accidentally breeding.
And despite being far deadlier than its predecessors, falciparum never fizzled out.
Because ever-growing human settlements ensured that it never ran out of victims.
Eventually, it spread through dense human populations around the world.
And today, falciparum still kills nearly half a million people each year.
自公元前3000年开始的农业 为你带来了更好的食物 更嗜血的蚊子 以及更加致命的疟疾
Agriculture bringing you better food, bloodthirstier mosquitos, and deadlier malaria, since 3000 BCE.
Exact date uncertain, arrived in Africa between 8000 and 2000 BCE,
see paleontology for details.
嘿 Minute Earth的粉丝们 结束之前我想跟你们说
Hey MinuteEarthlings! Before you go, I wanted to let you know that
this video was sponsored by GiveWell,
an organization devoted to identifying the most effective organizations to donate to it,
to make a difference for people around the world.
One of GiveWell’s top recommendations is the Against Malaria Foundation,
which helps fight malaria by distributing mosquito nets to people throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Along with other measures, like mosquito-killing pesticides and malaria medications,
nets have helped cut the number of deaths from malaria in half over the last 15 years.
To learn more, and find out how you can help protect people from malaria,
嗨 我是Minute Earth的凯特