51: Malaria

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 19:24, 14 December 2012

Malaria
The malaria party was David's idea.
Title text: The malaria party was David's idea.

Explanation

According to Wikipedia: "Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by protists (a type of microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. It begins with a bite from an infected female mosquito, which introduces the protists via its saliva into the circulatory system, and ultimately to the liver where they mature and reproduce. The disease causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death."

It plays on the idea of a Pox party which adults bring their children to in order to deliberately exposed to a virus to promote immunity. This is commonly done for childhood diseases like measles and chicken pox. Some of these illnesses are more serious for adults than children. It seems unlikely that you would risk contracting malaria as a way of gaining immunity against it, and unlikely to be much fun either.

Transcript

[People wearing party hats, a discarded balloon to the side]
We had a malaria party, but it turned out not to be very much fun.

Trivia


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Discussion

They look to be standing up. The black flecks appear to be confetti, and they are all at or below foot level. Their feet and arms do not give the impression of corpses. 108.162.216.32 15:11, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

This entire thing is off. Does anyone else notice that there is no vaccine against Malaria? Thus, the entire discussion about vaccines is pointless. Time for me to do some editing! 173.245.56.142 15:22, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't know if this was part of the explanation that was removed, but as the comic and the explanation allude to and include pox parties, which are often done for infectious diseases that can be vaccinated against, I decided to re-add some vaccination information. I think it ia as much a topic of the comic as Malaria, which is why I put it in a seperate section, similar to the malaria information. Also I think the fact that there is one single time where humanity actually has to be applauded for making something go extinct was in my opinion interesting and cool enough to be included, even if it's perhaps one step removed from the actual comic itself. I actually had to hold myself back to not include a whole story about how they found out that for some wierd reason milkmaids would way more seldom get sick than other people, and find out that most of them had had cowpox, which is relatively harmless (especially in comparison with something like smallpox)and create the first vaccination from the cowpox variant. Actually the word vaccination comes from vacca, the latin ord for cow... so cool.108.162.219.58 04:55, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

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