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Drug-resistant malaria could spread fast, expert warns

Drug-resistant malaria could spread from southeast Asia to Africa within months, putting millions of children's lives at risk, a leading expert warned on Wednesday.

Nicholas White, professor of tropical medicine at Mahidol University in Bangkok, called for a war before it is too late on the malaria strain resistant to the drug artemisinin that first emerged along the Thai-Cambodian border in 2007.

This longer-to-treat form of malaria is suspected of breaking out along the Thai-Myanmar frontier and in a province of Vietnam, where tests are under way to confirm it, but the great fear is of it reaching Africa.

"It is a time bomb, it is ticking. It has the potential of killing millions of African children," White told Reuters.

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