The Citizen (Gauteng)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY 13 May, 1857: Sir Ronald Ross, malaria pioneer
Sir Ronald Ross, the man who discovered the malaria mosquito, was born in Almora, India, in 1857. After graduating in medicine, he entered St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College.
In 1881 he joined the Indian medical service and visited Madras, Burma and Andaman Islands, developing an interest in poetry, literature and mathematics. Sir Ronald began his study of malaria in 1892.
He discovered the transmission of malaria in humans through the Anopheles mosquito in 1897. Sir Ronald continued his research and visited various countries in West Africa and Panama, advising and aiding in the eradication of malaria.
In 1902, he received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery. Sir Ronald authored a book, The Prevention of Malaria, in 1910. While he is known for his work on malaria, he is also remembered as a mathematician, editor and novelist.
He was the director-in-chief of the Ross Institute until his death on 16 September, 1932.
WHAT IS MALARIA?
Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite. The parasite is spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. People who have malaria usually suffer with a high fever and shaking chills.
The disease is caused by a plasmodium parasite. People travelling to areas where malaria is common typically take protective drugs before, during and after their trip. Treatment includes antimalarial drugs.