5 Facts: Malaria


It’s Five Facts Friday!

In this Gleaner video from two days ago, the Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson has sought to calm fears following confirmation that three cases of the mosquito-transmitted Malaria virus have been found in Jamaica.  So here are five facts you should know about this disease.

  1. Malaria is preventable and curable.
  2. Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.  Is is transmitted exclusively through the bites of Anopheles mosquitoes.
  3. Typical symptoms of malaria appear seven days or more (usually 10-15 days) after the infective mosquito bite.
  4. According to the World Health Organization (WHO): “First symptoms – fever, headache, chills and vomiting – may be mild and difficult to recognize 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 involvement is also frequent.”
  5. According to the WHO: Between 6 November 2006 and 3 February 2007, the Ministry of Health confirmed 280 cases of malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum on the island.  The vast majority of these cases were in Kingston.  There were no reported deaths. See that advisory here

For more about Malaria, have a look at the WHO Fact Sheet