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Second malaria case detected

Published:Monday | January 14, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Health officials were yesterday tight-lipped on reports that a second imported case of malaria has been detected.

The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre understands that the infected person, a male, had also travelled to a country in Africa similar to the person in St Ann whose case was highlighted by The Gleaner last week. The Manchester patient is being treated at the Mandeville Regional Hospital, where he is in intensive care.

Sources say although the patient received the necessary vaccines before travelling to Africa, he stayed in the region longer than scheduled.

When contacted, health officials declined to comment on the case.

no comment

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael Coombs said he was not in a position to speak about the matter and suggested that the news centre contact the ministry's public relations personnel today.

Director of emergency, disaster management and special services in the health ministry, Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse, also declined to speak on the matter, saying she was not at work and was, therefore, not up to date with what was happening.

Last week, in a release from the ministry, Coombs assured the public that there was no malaria outbreak and, therefore, no reason for Jamaicans to panic. He said the country had not had locally transmitted cases of malaria since 2009. There were five imported cases in 2012 and one since the start of the year.

Malaria, caused by the malaria parasite, is spread when the anopheles mosquito bites an infected person and then bites others. It cannot be transmitted from person to person. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea are also possible.