Wednesday 20 October 2021

Health confirms 15 cases of malaria on the border with Nicaragua

Of the infected people, eight are Costa Rican and seven Nicaraguans, so the ministries of health of both countries are working to stop the transmission of the disease

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QCOSTARICA – An outbreak of 15 people positive for malaria on the border with Nicaragua forced both national and neighboring Health authorities to take measures to contain the transmission on Tuesday.

Health personnel visit families house to house as part of the transmission control protocol. (Courtesy Ministry of Health)

Apparently, the migratory flow favors the mobility of the disease, so through strategies integrated by both nations, it is sought to stop the spread.

The emergency occurred in the border community of La Trocha, after an epidemiological sweep carried out in various parts of the area.

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The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and the Ministry of Health confirmed that, of the 15 cases detected, eight correspond to Costa Ricans and seven to Nicaraguans.

Melvin Anchía Villalobos, epidemiologist of the Huetar Norte integrated health service delivery network, explained that the bilateral work developed between the two countries favors malaria prevention and control strategies.

“It is an exhausting job because you have to go house to house and the climatic and access conditions are difficult, but we managed to do a responsible job that facilitates decision-making and the activation of protocols to avoid more infections,” explained the doctor.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease; It is caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.

Anopheles is a genus of mosquito first described and named by J. W. Meigen in 1818. Mosquitoes in other genera (Aedes, Culex, Culiseta, Haemagogus, and Ochlerotatus) can also serve as vectors of disease agents, but not human malaria. 

The most common symptoms that a patient may present are: generalized body pain, fever between 39-40 degrees Celsius, chills, changes in yellowish skin color, loss of hunger, sweating, headache, tiredness or fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

To diagnose malaria it is necessary to do a blood test, to observe the parasite directly through the microscope.

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The CCSS will maintain active surveillance in conjunction with the health authorities of Nicaragua and Costa Rica for the timely detection of malaria and initiation of treatment.

“These efforts are vital because they allow immediate action and cut this chain of disease between people. The 15 patients diagnosed with the disease have already received treatment, as well as the contacts of the cases, assured the epidemiologist.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is part of the work team that seeks additional strategies to strengthen the binational work that began with the intervention of the outbreak at the border with Nicaragua.

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