QCOSTARICA – Health authorities reinforced the epidemiological fence operation in the border corridor of the Northern Zone due to the increase in malaria cases in the last four weeks; local health services confirmed that there was a total of 138 cases as of November 27, of which 13 are relapses in people infected with the disease.
Malaria is usually uncommon in this region but an increase in cases has been reported since September 2021.
The communities affected are: Medio Queso, San Gerardo, Cuatro Esquinas, Isla Chica, La Trocha, Las Delicias and Coquital.
The aim is of preventing the cases from spreading to nearby places or to other territories in the region.
Vector officials of the Ministry of Health and Primary Care Technical Assistants (ATAPS) of the CCSS, concentrate their work on a house-to-house visit sweep to detect people with symptoms, take blood samples, supply medicines to suspicious people, delivery of awnings and fumigation of areas near the home; Another team of medical professionals and health planning professionals are in charge of the analysis, follow-up and evolution of the reported cases.
A suspicious case is when a person who resides in or has visited a malaria area with active transmission in the last 40 days presents intermittent fever that is usually accompanied by headache, muscle pain, chills and sweating.
“Given the conditions of high mobility of people that prevail in that area, an intervention process has been established that has consisted of the active search for cases, training actions for community leaders so that they maintain an alert attitude and community commitment, community education on Malaria for the inhabitants of these localities, and coordination with companies to strengthen prevention strategies,” confirmed Dr. Claudia Rosales from the Huetar Norte Region Health Rectory Directorate.
Considering environmental factors, socioeconomic conditions, and the mobility of people in the affected communities, the Ministry of Health will remain on permanent alert until the outbreak is fully controlled.
Advice for Travellers
Malaria is a potentially serious infection that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.
If you travelling to this area you should:
- Understand your risk of malaria, given the current increase in cases
- Know how to protect yourself against mosquito bites during your trip
- Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with certain medical conditions are at an increased risk of becoming severely unwell if they develop malaria and may be
- Recommended to take tablets to prevent malaria (antimalarials) during your trip. You should talk to a travel health professional to find out if you should take antimalarial tablets.
If you develop a high temperature (fever) during or for up to a month on return from your trip, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible and tell the doctor about your recent travel history.