Scott Filler has been a Senior Disease Coordinator with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria since 2011. Scott Filler's role with The Global Fund is to ensure that resources from The Global Fund are distributed and funded properly to the areas where they will have the most impact through interventions. Scott realized his mission in life was to work on malaria awareness and helping the cause when he was a junior in college. Scott elected to spend a semester in Kenya and at that time he got sick after being bitten by a mosquito. Scott Filler had malaria. He knew at that time to devote his life to the cause and working with The Global Fund in Geneva, Switzerland has allowed him to fulfill that life's work by helping other people and playing a strong role on The Global Fund's strategy. For more information on Scott Filler and his role with The Global Fund in Geneva check out his website.

 

Ebola Outbreak Causing More Pain

Scott Filler’s latest post:

In a recent Independent UK article the collapse of healthcare systems in Western Africa could have the potential to see thousands more die from the Ebola outbreak due to malaria and other diseases.  An expert told Independent UK, that they suspect the death toll from malaria and other diseases will actually rise above the death toll from Ebola itself.  The expert is Dr. Jimmy Whitworth and he states that he is not confident in the health services to handle the outbreak.  Whitworth, the head of population health at Wellcome Trust, explained to the Independent that Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone may lack the ability to deal with the outbreak and that a breakdown in services at hospitals in these countries could lead to an “excess” of deaths from diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.

scottfiller_ebolaWest Africa, at present, has seen over 1,000 deaths from the outbreak since the month of February and now it is in the middle of its rainy season, prime time for for malaria transmission due to mosquito breeding.  It doesn’t look good for many of the hospitals either as many of them have been shut down because of the sheer impact of the virus.  Furthermore, it appears that many people in need of treatment for other diseases are now avoiding hospitals to not be hit with the Ebola virus themselves.

The Ebola outbreak shutting down hospitals is coming at a horrible time.  In any given year, even without an outbreak, 100,000 people can die from malaria in a single area.  The World Health Organization is also taking great measures now.  They are now calling for and authorizing experimental medicines that have yet to be tested on humans to combat the outbreak.  Canada is sending an experimental Ebola vaccine to West Africa.  Even though they are sending 1,000 doses, officials say that regardless if whether the vaccine works or not, it would take months for the vaccine to have a major impact.

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Measuring Medicine

Scott Filler’s latest post:

scottfiller_pillsIn a recent article by Fox News, imprecise measure measurements on certain medications could do more harm than good for you and your family and lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes. Results of this study have been posted in Pediatrics Magazine. In these results, experts say that people should use droppers and syringes for precise measurements rather than using spoons. In this study, 300 parents were involved with their children- mostly younger than 9 years old. The young children were treated for various illnesses in New York City hospitals and were sent home with prescriptions for liquid medicines.

Parents were afterwards contacted about the method they used to give their children the medication.  They later came in and demonstrated to doctors how they gave their children the medication. According to the results of the study- “50% were more likely to give their children incorrect doses than those who measured out with more precise devices- such as a dropper.”

Incorrect doses include too much and too little of the medication- and both can be equally as dangerous. Underdosing may not effectively treat an illness and can even lead to medication-resistant infections. On the other hand, overdosing on medication can cause illness and can be life-threatening. About one third of the parents gave the wrong dose and 1 in 6 used a kitchen spoon rather than a more precise device. According to the author: “Outreach is needed to promote the consistent use of millimeter units between prescriptions and bottle labels.”

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Activities at Lake Geneva

Scott Filler’s latest post:

In a recent article by the New York Daily News, there are lots of fun things to do in the Lake Geneva region this summer. Many people when they think of Switzerland are images of people skiing down snowy mountains. In the summertime, those same mountains are photographed in the summer but instead of snow, there are cows warming themselves in the sum on the Alpine meadow. Surrounded by the meadow, the small country of 7 million has always been known for its natural beauty, skilled craftsmanship and delicious chocolates.  On a trip to Switzerland, you could expect to explore medieval cities, take hikes alongside clear water streams, visiting chocolate shops and window shopping for watches.

scottfiller_lakegenevaIf you take a visit to Switzerland’s french speaking region, Geneva it is an easy transportation hub where you can access international locations by Swiss Rail, airplane, bus and car. For such a small city, Geneva has a lot of fire-star hotels. The Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and Le Richemond are just across the Rhone River from the shopping district on Rue du Rhone that has a collection of world-famous, upscale retail shops such as Jahan, Piaget, Harry Winston, Bulgari, Christian Louboutin and Breguet. Facing Lake Geneva are the Beau Rivage with a 17,000 bottle-fine wine cellar and the contemporary Hotel President Wilson, which is a short walk to two expansive parks, La Perle-du-Lac (“Pearl of the Lake”) and Park Moynier.

The Metropolitan area of Geneva is primarily composed of many townships that are combined together to make one large town. Contrary to its large role in finance and diplomacy, Geneva proper has a population fewer than 200,000 people. Another great activity to go besides shopping is visiting wineries and vineyards. Many of these places are small and family run businesses. When searching for a new vacation spot- try Geneva for its variety of different activities.

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Malaria Explained

Scott Filler’s latest post:

In a recent article by, Medical News Today, the Malaria disease is explained. Malaria is a life threatening blood disease that is caused by a parasite that is transmitted by humans by the Anopheles mosquito. On the other hand, Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. if Malaria is treated at an early stage within the disease, the duration of the disease can be significantly reduced, which in turn prevents complications and even death in the long run.

scottfiller_malariamed

The word “Malaria” comes from the 18th century word “mala” which means “bad” and “aria” which means “air.” It wasn’t until 1880 that scientists discovered that Malaria was a disease caused by a parasite which is transmitted by the anopheles mosquito. the mosquito infects the host with a one-cell parasite called plasmodium. By the end of the 18th century, scientists found out that Malaria is transmitted from person-to person through the bite of the female mosquito- which needs blood for her eggs. Approximately 40% of the global population is at risk for the Malaria disease. However, during the 20th century, the disease was effectively eliminated in the majority of non-tropical areas.

In many regions where, Malaria is common such as Africa, local people have some kind of immunity- this means many infected people have no symptoms at all or very few. The severity of the Malaria disease depends on a few factors such as the type of parasite the mosquito has infected the human with, the individual persons level of immunity, and whether or not the person still has their spleen. Some of the early stage symptoms of Malaria are a high body temperature or fever, chills, headache, sweats, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting.

Luckily, there are many treatment options for the Malaria disease. Ideally, the treatment for Malaria should take place as soon as symptoms are detected- within 24 hours. Patients with uncomplicated Malaria can be treated as outpatients while those with a sever case of Malaria need to be hospitalized. In some countries that are not the United States, anti-malaria medications may be presented as suppositories. Hopefully, one day Malaria can be cured in all countries it affects. For now, doctors and scientists and taking the steps they need in order to cure people of this disease.

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Describing Malaria

Scott Filler’s latest post:

In a recent article by the online source, WebMd, a general overview of Malaria is discussed and outlined. Malaria, is a serious disease that causes high fevers and chills in people that have been affected. The way people are infected by Malaria is through a bite by an infected mosquito. Malaria is rare in the Unites States but has affected many parts of Africa, Southern Asia, Central America and South America.

The mosquito bite that affects people with the Malaria disease are mosquitoes that have been infected with parasites. However, in very rare cases, people can become infected when they come in contact with infected blood. In women who are pregnant- the fetus could develop the disease from an infected mother. Contrary to what many believe- one cannot get Malaria from purely being in contact with a person that is infected. Most Malaria infections cause patients to have flu like symptoms, such as high fever, chills and muscle pain- but the symptoms tend to come and go in cycles. Some types of the Malaria disease may cause more serious symptoms- it could cause damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or brain. These types can be deadly. In order to check for the Malaria disease, your doctor will order a blood test to be done in order to check for the Malaria parasite.

scottfiller_malariaMedicines can usually treat the illness but many Malaria parasites survive because they are in your liver or they are resistant to medications. If you have been in an area where Malaria is present, it is important for you to get medical help right away in case if you were exposed to mosquitoes or are getting symptoms similar to the flu. Again, these include high fever, chills and muscle pain. You might be able to prevent Malaria before by taking medicine before, during and after traveling to an infected area. However, using medication to prevent Malaria doesn’t always work. This is due to some parasites being resistant to the Malaria medication.

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currentsinbiology:

Scientists wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the lab by creating male-only offspring
Scientists have modified mosquitoes to produce sperm that will only create males, pioneering a fresh approach to eradicating malaria.
In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from Imperial College London have tested a new genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.
In the first laboratory tests, the method created a fully fertile mosquito strain that produced 95 per cent male offspring.
The scientists introduced the genetically modified mosquitoes to five caged wild-type mosquito populations. In four of the five cages, this eliminated the entire population within six generations, because of the lack of females. The hope is that if this could be replicated in the wild, this would ultimately cause the malaria-carrying mosquito population to crash.
This is the first time that scientists have been able to manipulate the sex ratios of mosquito populations. The researchers believe the work paves the way for a pioneering approach to controlling malaria.

currentsinbiology:

Scientists wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the lab by creating male-only offspring

Scientists have modified mosquitoes to produce sperm that will only create males, pioneering a fresh approach to eradicating malaria.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from Imperial College London have tested a new genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.

In the first laboratory tests, the method created a fully fertile mosquito strain that produced 95 per cent male offspring.

The scientists introduced the genetically modified mosquitoes to five caged wild-type mosquito populations. In four of the five cages, this eliminated the entire population within six generations, because of the lack of females. The hope is that if this could be replicated in the wild, this would ultimately cause the malaria-carrying mosquito population to crash.

This is the first time that scientists have been able to manipulate the sex ratios of mosquito populations. The researchers believe the work paves the way for a pioneering approach to controlling malaria.