Those are a couple of your poor red blood cells exploding (or are they deflating rather limply?) from malaria. The oxygen that the blood cell carries has been paralyzed (maybe disabled? destroyed?). And it’s not getting where it needs to go. A body not getting the oxygen it needs in the liver and brain is not a happy body.
Admittedly, my technical understanding and explanation of how malaria does its thing is lacking. But, having experienced the effects of this parasite, I will say that this visual of the red blood cells losing the battle to malaria was a pretty accurate representation of how miserable one feels when suffering from malaria.
When I had malaria, I had it with the benefits of already being on prophylaxis, which although it doesn’t prevent the disease, usually gives you a bit more time before the disease (at least the cerebral form) becomes a life or death crisis. Plus, I had money for treatment, and the ability to call a doctor in the middle of the night, who called the pharmacist in the middle of the night, who for an extra fee, opened up the pharmacy and sold me the treatment.
Malaria is preventable (mainly by avoiding getting bitten by mosquitos), and it is treatable. Still, many people die from it every year and many more get it and suffer from it over and over, in a cyclically debilitating fashion. I don’t really know how one can estimate the big picture effects of malaria, in terms of life, functionality, performance, overall miserableness and quality of life, etc. But it’s effect IS big.
Eradicating malaria, like just about any campaign (for example, eradicating poverty), is fraught with overly simplistic solutions and overly complex complications to those solutions. Still, for all of my cynicism about campaigns and causes, this is one cause I do care deeply about. You can learn more about malaria and some of the big names working to fight it at the Malaria Consortium website.
Malaria (and the mosquitos that carry it) is a fascinating and interesting topic to me. If I have time later in the day, I might ramble on about it some more. But, for now, at least, on this end of the day, I wanted to draw your attention to this preventable, but devastating disease, which continues to affect and kill many people around the world each day.