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Malaria Strategies Need To Target At-Risk Populations, Researchers Say

New strategies are needed to fight malaria in countries with low prevalence, because “pockets of infection remain, mainly among men living or working outdoors,” according to a paper published in The Lancet, BBC News reports. “Those working in forests or plantations, or sleeping in fields overnight to protect crops, are all specific groups — known as ‘hot pops’ (populations),” the news service writes, adding, “Other groups who are disproportionately affected include ethnic or political minorities who are typically poor and often on the move.” Richard Feachem, the study’s lead author and director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, said strategies to fight malaria over the last decade have been very effective, but they “must evolve to respond effectively to the changing patterns of infection in low transmission areas. … More sophisticated and targeted approaches to identifying those people who are infected, and responding promptly and effectively, must be put in place,” according to the BBC. The paper discusses the challenges of malaria drug resistance, changing epidemiology, different malaria parasites, and strategies to combat the disease, the news service notes (4/14).