Archive for Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur / Malaysia

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2015 by Thim Kwai

Kuala Lumpur, called by many Malaysians merely ‘KL’, is the capital and economic center of Malaysia. It’s a new city, founded in the 1850 as a miners camp and incredibly booming since the 1980s. In sharp contrast to many other places in Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is a very modern city with a lot of industries who are able to compete on the world market.

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This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Kuala Lumpur’. Read here the whole article on Kuala Lumpur.

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Rafflesia arnoldii

Posted in Latest of Asienreisender, Miscellaneous with tags , , , on August 21, 2014 by Thim Kwai

Rafflesia arnoldii is considered being the largest flower in the world. It grows in the tropical rainforests of the Malay Archipelago, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, south of Thailand and reaches a size of 1m in diameter and a weight up to eleven kilograms. Rafflesia arnoldii is named after Stamford Raffles and the botanist Joseph Arnold.

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Rafflesia arnoldii, Sketch

Rafflesia arnoldii

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Asienreisender is completely non-commercial. You’ll find no adds on the website and it’s not following any other purpose than reporting independently.

SPAM

This blog receives tons of spam for every article published. If you want to write a comment on the subject you are highly welcome. Mere commercial advertisement are however treated as spam and deleted. Don’t waste your and my time – it’s useless to try to get backlinks on this blog.

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Interactive Map of Malaysia

Posted in Countries, Latest of Asienreisender, Maps with tags , , , on July 16, 2014 by Thim Kwai

An interactive map of Malaysia.

Map_Malaysia_Asienreisender_700pxs

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Asienreisender is completely non-commercial. You’ll find no adds on the website and it’s not following any other purpose than reporting independently.

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This blog receives tons of spam for every article published. If you want to write a comment on the subject you are highly welcome. Mere commercial advertisement are however treated as spam and deleted. Don’t waste your and my time – it’s useless to try to get backlinks on this blog.

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Tropical Rainforest and Jungle in Southeast Asia

Posted in Landscapes, Latest of Asienreisender with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by Thim Kwai

In the early 1960s, global rainforests spread over 11% of earth’s land mass, nowadays the remaining rainforests alltogether cover some 6 to 7 percent of it. That is a thin belt along the equator, mostly below the 10th degree of latitude. A hundred years or more ago the size of the old forests was much larger. Nevertheless, between 50% to 70% of the known species are living in these richest biotopes. That’s a total amount of estimated 30 million plants and animals. And there are many more who are yet undiscovered.

The last remaining tropical rainforests are located in the Amazon catchment area in South America, the Congo basin in Africa and in parts of Southeast Asia. Since the rainforests of south America (the world’s largest) and the ones in Africa are based on mainland, most of the Southeast Asian rainforests are spread over ten thousands of islands in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

It is the year-round warm temperatures, the not much changing climate conditions and the plenty of rain and humidity who keep a stable environment and grant so many different animals and plants a habitate. Evolution had one of it’s best playgrounds in areas like the Malayan rainforest, which is counted as the oldest forest on earth. The Malay peninsula and the great Sunda islands are uninterruptedly forested since more than a hundred million of years already. That’s why so many species could evolve particularly here. Not on chance got Alfred Russel Wallace his igniting idea concerning the theory of evolution, driven by natural selection, in the rich rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia.

What’s actually the difference between rainforest and jungle? Well, jungle is a more common expression for all wild vegetation which is growing in the tropes and subtropes, including bushes and dense vegetation of all kind. Fast growing green wilderness, so to say. Rainforest means real forest, old trees and it’s a vegetation form which needs ages to develop.

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This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Tropical Rainforest and Jungle in Southeast Asia’. Read here the whole article on Tropical Rainforest and Jungle in Southeast Asia.

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Chikungunya Fever

Posted in Health/Diseases, Latest of Asienreisender with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by Thim Kwai

Chikungunya fever is another tropical, mosquito-born disease. It’s endemic in Southeast Asia, India and great parts of Africa.

Chikungunya is a virus which was discovered in 1953, first documented in Thailand in 1958. Most of the population in Indochina is probably immune against the disease. Though, tourists and travellers from other world regions are usually not immune. The disease is spreading out to the southern parts of Southeast Asia. In the last years there were considerable numbers of cases of chikungunya in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand, certainly also in Singapore. Between 2001 and 2003 there was a chikungunya epidemy on Java. In May 2009 there was an outbreak in Trang / Thailand, in 2012 in parts of Cambodia with 1,500 reported cases. Chikungunya appeared the first time in Cambodia in 1961.

Chikungunya is transfered by various kinds of mosquitoes, including the aggressive Asian tiger mosquito (Stegomyia albopicta, or aedes albopictus), which transferes dengue fever and a number of other diseases as well. Other vectors of the chikungunya virus are primates and rodents.

Recently a virus mutation happened, which is particularly well transfered by the Asian tiger mosquito. It’s pathogenicity is higher than those of the other, older variations.

The outspread of the Asian tiger mosquito in the last years, also into south Europe, is supposed to be responsible for the chikungunya epidemy in summer 2007 in Ravenna, Italy. Possibly the disease will spread out into more regions in Europe and north America in the next years.

Transfer

Course of Disease

Diagnosis

Therapy

Prevention

Peculiarities

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This is only a part of the illustrated article ‘Chikungunya’. Read the whole article on Chikungunya Fever by Asienreisender.

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Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

Dengue Fever

Posted in Health/Diseases, Latest of Asienreisender with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by Thim Kwai

In difference to malaria, which vector is a parasite, dengue fever is a viral disease. It’s hosts are exclusively primates, mostly humans and some kinds of mosquitoes of the family aedes, who transfer it. There are four different subspecies of the virus.

Mosquito larvas in a washing basin in Cambodia. Images by Asienreisender, 2013

Dengue fever is a very dangerous and painful disease. It is also an emerging disease, in fact the fastest dispersing disease in the world transfered by mosquitoes. In the fifty years between 1960 and 2010 dengue cases rose up thirty fold worldwide. In the ten years between 2000 and 2010 the number of cases doubled. That has to do with the expansion of the vector mosquito, what is in Southeast Asia (mostly) the Asian tiger mosquito, in general mosquitoes of the aedes family. This mosquito kind thrives in urban regions, and it’s very adaptable. Since urbanisation is rampant in Southeast Asia, the Asian tiger mosquito has a rapidly growing habitat. But it’s also worldwide spreading out. Globalization promotes the outspread of the tiger mosquito and the disease. Increased mobility as travel activities, population growth and global warming play a role as well.

Particularly the Philippines and Laos are in the center of the emerge, but also Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam have all reported an increase in cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates between 50 to 100 million annual cases of dengue worldwide, of whome half a million suffer a heavy course of disease and 22.000 people die; most of the victims are children. In Asia more than 90% of the heavy course of the disease hit children. The magazine ‘Nature’ wrote in it’s April 2013 issue that even 390 million people get infected annually, referring to the studies of the scientific authors of the article.

Dengue is endemic in 110 countries in the tropical and subtropical regions of the earth; 75% of the dengue cases appear in the Asia/Pacific region.

Dengue fever is commonly also called the ‘breakbone disease’ or ‘dandy fever’.

Transfer

The disease is mostly transfered by the Egyptian tiger mosquito, also known as dengue mosquito or yellow-fever mosquito and, here in Southeast Asia, by the Asian tiger mosquito (lat. Stegomyia albopicta, aedes albopictus). There are some other mosquitoes who transfer the disease, particularly in New Guinea and in the south Pacific (the Polynesian tiger mosquito).

The circle of reproduction is similar to those of other mosquito-born diseases. A female mosquito sucks blood from an infected person and gets the virus in it’s stomach. If the virus concentration is high enough, it can befall the mosquito’s stomach cells and reach it’s own blood circulation and contamine the mosquito’s saliva. The extrinsic incubation time inside the mosquito is eight to ten days, means that the virus is then mature and harmful. Next time when it’s biting someone, the infection is transfered to him or her. That’s because at any bite a mosquito does, first it’s injecting some saliva into the victims blood. A single bite of an infected mosquito is sufficient to transfer the disease, but not necessarily does. The virus can also be transfered from the mosquito to it’s lavaes.

Although the mosquito gets itself infected by the dengue virus, there are no harming effects for the mosquito.

Dengue can’t spread directly from one person to another one. But, if there is someone around who has dengue fever it is most important to protect everybody from the mosquitoes around, particularly the patient. They can transfer the virus from the infected person to other people around.

Dengue can also be transfered by blood transfusions and organ donations if the donator was infected himself.

The risk of an infection is highest in the rainy season (monsoon), for the mosquitoes then find the most breeding places and florish. The tiger mosquitoes prefer living indoor in urban regions and their daily peak periods of biting are around sunrise and up to two hours later and around sunset. Though, it can bite at any time of the day.

Course of the Disease

After getting bitten by a mosquito and infected, dengue has a latent period between three and fourteen days. Most of the cases are mild and not to distinguish from a normal flu. One get’s fever (up to 40 degree C) with ague, headache, eye- muscle- and limbpains. It comes together with a rash. After three to seven days it’s easing off. Though, in two to four percent of the cases the course of disease continues heavy. A ‘dengue hemorrhagic fever’ (DHF), also called ‘dengue shock syndrome’ can appear. One to five percent of the heavy cases are lethal.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is an acute shock syndrom with uncontrollable inner and outer bleedings; the blood circulation breaks down, abdominal pain, fever and headache, dehydration, brain caused spasms, coma, bloody vomiting, bleeding gums, a swollen liver and many more symptoms appear.

The shock occurs two to six days after infection with sudden collapses, cool clammy extremities, weak thready pulse and blueness around the mouth, blood spots in the skin, spitting blood, blood in the stool, bleeding gums and noise bleeding. It can lead to pneumonia and heart inflammation. The mortality rate at this stage is announced by the WHO by between 2.5% with proper medical treatment up to twenty percent, without. Letal cases are mostly among children.

The disease is very painful. The acute phase lasts between one to two weeks, but can extend much longer (four to six weeks). If the infection is survived, the patient is immune against all four dengue viruses for a short time and for the certain virus which caused the acute disease a live long.

When suffering the first typical symptoms it makes sense to have it checked by a doctor to make certain what it exactly is.

Diagnosis

Therapy

Prevention

Peculiarities

Know…

This is only a part of the illustrated article ‘Dengue Fever’. Read the whole article on Dengue Fever by Asienreisender.

Keep yourself up-to-date

Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender