Ja­maica records two im­ported malaria cases

The Star (Jamaica) - - FRONT PAGE -

The Min­istry of Health is re­port­ing two im­ported cases of malaria since the be­gin­ning of 2017. One case was re­ported on Jan­uary 5 by the Na­tional Pub­lic Health Lab­o­ra­tory. The fol­low­ing day, there was an­other re­ported case by a pri­vate lab­o­ra­tory.

The first case is a Ja­maican na­tional, who was liv­ing in Ghana, and re­turned to Ja­maica in Novem­ber 2016. The sec­ond case is a male, In­dian na­tional, who ar­rived in Ja­maica in March 2016.

In 2016, there were three cases of con­firmed im­ported malaria in two per­sons. One per­son vis­ited Gabon twice and re­turned to Ja­maica with malaria on both oc­ca­sions.

NIGHT FOGGING

Fol­low­ing the first con­firmed case this year, the min­istry car­ried out a de­tailed case in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which in­cluded three con­sec­u­tive night fogging blitzes in prox­im­ity to the pa­tient’s home. This will be re­peated weekly for three cy­cles. A search for breed­ing, sites for the Anophe­les mos­quito, which trans­mits malaria, re­vealed three sites be­tween 700 and 1,000 me­tres from the first per­son’s home. The min­istry also con­ducted com­mu­nity fever sur­veil­lance for early de­tec­tion in the event there was spread. The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, in the World Malaria Re­port of 2016, re­ported 91 coun­tries with on­go­ing malaria trans­mis­sion. The symp­toms of malaria in­clude fever, chills, headache, sweats, fa­tigue, nau­sea and vom­it­ing. Some pop­u­la­tion groups are at con­sid­er­ably higher risk of con­tract­ing malaria, and de­vel­op­ing se­vere dis­ease than oth­ers. Th­ese in­clude preg­nant women, in­fants, chil­dren un­der five years of age, and pa­tients with HIV/AIDS. Malaria pre­ven­tion med­i­ca­tions are avail­able in Ja­maica. Per­sons are en­cour­aged to start tak­ing them be­fore and dur­ing their trav­els, and up to one month af­ter re­turn­ing.

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