Malaria `linked` to household size
Washington: Researchers have found that malaria eradication is related more to household size than to a country's wealth or temperature.
University of Guelph's economics professor Ross McKitrick and two Finnish professors, Larry and Lena Hulden, found that when average household size drops below four persons, malaria extermination is much more likely.
Malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The research team examined data on malaria insect vectors, as well as demographic, sociological and environmental factors for 232 countries. Malaria is still prevalent in 106 countries.
McKitrick said that Malaria-bearing mosquitoes mainly feed at night, and tend to return to the same location for blood meals, asserting that the more people who sleep in one area, the greater the likelihood of an infected mosquito spreading the parasite to a new, uninfected victim.
The researchers looked at factors such as gross domestic product per capita, urbanization and slums, latitude, mean temperature, forest coverage, national DDT use, household size and even religion.
The study has been published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A.