Agriculture Report – How Irrigation Systems Can Increase Malaria Risk

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Agriculture Report - How Irrigation Systems Can Increase Malaria Risk

From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

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systems can make a big difference in agricultural production. Irrigation can improve the lives of farm families. However, a new study says water to dry areas can also spread malaria. The study describes irrigation water can lead to an increase in malaria cases ---- increase that can last for years. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes. insects reproduce in standing water. So when a dry area is , the disease can appear and spread. Mercedes Pascual is a scientist the University of Michigan. She and her team studied areas in India where irrigation systems were built over a number of years. compared how malaria progressed with the spread of irrigation. She and other scientists found that after farmers began irrigating their crops, the of malaria rose sharply. At first, the team thought the number cases rose because there was little effort to control mosquitoes. But, study found that was not the case. The researchers found that rates of malaria continued for 10 years or longer even after control efforts were in place. Mercedes Pascual suggests that irrigation projects to limit places where mosquitoes might reproduce. She also says health may need to try other methods of malaria prevention that would for long periods of time. The researchers agree that irrigation helps in areas with low rainfall. But, Mercedes Pascual and her team that irrigation also can bring years of high rates of malaria. only way to avoid the problem is through better planning and measures. For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.

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