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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Costa Rica remains vigilant due to increase in Malaria cases

The Ministry of Health and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund remain vigilant and continue implementing actions to reduce malaria cases registered in the country.

According to both institutions, as of epidemiological week number 24 of this year (as of June 18), 256 cases of malaria have been reported, which represents an increase over the last five years.

In 2018, 109 cases were reported, while in 2019 a total of 140 cases; on the other hand, there were 138 cases in 2020 and 228 cases in 2021.

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite of the Plasmodium genus and transmitted to people mainly by the bite of a female mosquito of the Anopheles genus. It has been endemic in the country since the 18th century, and transmission has been reestablished in large regions of the Caribbean coast and spread to other areas of the country. 

The three regions with the most cases are the Huetar Norte Region with 226 cases, the Huetar Caribe Region with 22 cases and the Central Pacific Region with 8 cases.

The Ministry of Health and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund constantly conduct house-to-house visits to detect people with symptoms, take blood samples, provide medicines to suspicious persons, and fumigate areas near the home.

However, they call on the population to also use repellent, placing mosquito nets and covering their skin.

This disease has various symptoms, including chills, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, headache, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, cough, and muscle pain.

Health experts point out that it is crucial to visit a doctor in case of these symptoms, especially if people live in or have traveled to an area with a high risk of malaria.

The country continues to work towards malaria elimination by 2025. Several institutions are working together to achieve this goal.

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