Wed | Jan 22, 2020

St Catherine records case of malaria

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2019 | 12:27 PM

The St Catherine Health Department has recorded a case of malaria.

This was disclosed by Chief Public Health Officer for the parish, Grayson Hutchinson, at the monthly meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation which is currently under way.

The meeting was told that the female patient visited a country in Africa and on her return to Jamaica, she became ill.

She later tested positive for malaria.

More information soon.

World Health Organisation Key Facts About Malaria 

* Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable.

* In 2017, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria in 87 countries.

* The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 435,000 in 2017.

* The WHO African Region carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2017, the region was home to 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths.

* Total funding for malaria control and elimination reached an estimated US$ 3.1 billion in 2017. Contributions from governments of endemic countries amounted to US$ 900 million, representing 28% of total funding.

Symptoms

* Malaria is an acute febrile illness. In a non-immune individual, symptoms usually appear 10–15 days after the infective mosquito bite. The first symptoms – fever, headache, and chills – may be mild and difficult to recognise as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.

* Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria. In adults, multi-organ failure is also frequent. In malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur.

Transmission

* In most cases, malaria is transmitted through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes. There are more than 400 different species of Anopheles mosquito; around 30 are malaria vectors of major importance. All of the important vector species bite between dusk and dawn. The intensity of transmission depends on factors related to the parasite, the vector, the human host, and the environment.

* Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, which hatch into larvae, eventually emerging as adult mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes seek a blood meal to nurture their eggs. Each species of Anopheles mosquito has its own preferred aquatic habitat; for example, some prefer small, shallow collections of fresh water, such as puddles and hoof prints, which are abundant during the rainy season in tropical countries.

Prevention

* Vector control is the main way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission. If coverage of vector control interventions within a specific area is high enough, then a measure of protection will be conferred across the community.

* WHO recommends protection for all people at risk of malaria with effective malaria vector control. Two forms of vector control – insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying – are effective in a wide range of circumstances.

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