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Costa Rica reports over 70 malaria-infected patients

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Published on Thursday, March 21, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica is experiencing an increase in malaria cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

As of February, officials recorded 78 cases of malaria. Eight of these individuals had previously been infected in Panama before they arrived in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica closed 2023 with the highest number of malaria cases in 13 years, with 570 infected people, authorities added.

Malaria is transmitted by a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. 

The symptoms typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause jaundice, seizures, coma, or death.

Authorities have requested for people presenting any symptoms to visit the nearest Social Security Public Clinic, known as Ebais.

The ministry plans to eradicate malaria in Costa Rica by 2025, by strengthening local surveillance and improving case detection and patient care.

In 2022, nearly half of the world's population was at risk of malaria, reported the World Health Organization (WHO).

While sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden, the WHO regions of South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific, and the Americas also report significant numbers of cases and deaths.

There were an estimated 249 million cases of malaria in 2022, and the estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 608,000. In 2022, the African Region was home to 94% and 95% of malaria cases and deaths, respectively.

Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria; in 2022, they accounted for nearly 80% of all malaria deaths in the African Region.

What have you heard from expats infected with malaria in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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