The Costa Rican government issued a health, or sanitary alert Monday due to the increase in the number of imported malaria cases reported from Nicaragua, Panama, and parts of South America and Africa, according to a Nacion report (computer translated).
According to Daniel Salas, director of the Directorate of Health Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, between January and May of this year, the first 11 patients were registered, but within a week there were ten new cases, which motivated to redouble efforts.
Year to date, Costa Rica has reported 21 cases of malaria, all of them imported. Most of these cases are seen in the northern zone, mainly in Santa Rosa de Pocosol, Los Chiles and Pital.
“Our country is prepared for an adequate treatment and diagnosis, the alert seeks to be more aggressive with early detection, in order to prevent cases from spreading,” said Giselle Amador, Minister of Health.
Malaria or malaria is a tropical disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. In Costa Rica the strain Plasmodium vivax is the main one, but there have also been cases of Plasmodium falciparum, a more aggressive strain that acts faster.
The parasite enters the liver and migrates to the blood, where it infects red blood cells. It can cause very high fever, chills and anemia. The first symptoms arise suddenly.
In the most severe cases, it destroys blood cells and damages circulation, liver and kidneys and thereby causes death.