GlaxoSmithKline, also known as Glaxo, or GSK, is one of the world’s leading pharmacutical manufacturers, producing billions of dollars of medication per year. Since 1987, they have been working on the development of a vaccine for Malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Malaria is thought to have killed more humans than any other cause in the history of mankind, some experts believe it has killed nearly half of all humans who have ever lived. It is a parasite that transmits itself through mosquito bites, according to the World Health Organization, almost half the world’s population is still currently at risk for contracting the disease. It is so deadly that the Center for Disease Control, the United State’s government body responsible for containing epidemic illnesses, was created specifically to fight malaria outbreaks in the United States.
Currently, there are drugs available to treat the illness, but because it is so fast in its attacks, it can often be too late by the time people who catch the illness in remote areas can reach a hospital for treatment. The most effective measures have been mosquito eradication and sleeping under protective mosquito nets (the near-eradication of malaria in the United States was due in part to the widespread popularity of window screens), but an actual vaccine that can help prevent contracting the illness altogether has long been one of the “milestone achievements” sought after by medical researchers.
The approval of this vaccine, after decades of development and clinical trials, is a monumental occasion for disease control around the world.
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