Jamaica records two imported malaria cases
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.
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.