The Ministry of Health of Costa Rica has reported a malaria outbreak in the province of Limón. According to the Directorate of Health Surveillance, there have been 60 cases of falciparum species, with 35 male and 25 female patients affected.
Dr. Rodrigo Marín, the director of Health Surveillance, explained that out of the total reported cases, 26 correspond to the canton of Limón, 32 to Pococí, 1 case to Matina, and 1 to Siquirres. It is worth noting that 75% of the cases were reported during the last two weeks.
After carrying out investigations in the field, health officials were unable to determine that the cases originated. The mosquito that transmits the disease is present in these communities, and the population is urged to take precautions such as using repellent, mosquito nets, and covering their skin.
To address the situation, the Ministry of Health and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund will reinforce actions in the affected areas starting next Tuesday. Health authorities will conduct house-to-house sweeps to detect people with symptoms, take blood samples, provide medication, hand out tarpaulins, and fumigate areas near affected houses.
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. The disease has been endemic in Costa Rica since the 18th century. Unfortunately, transmission has been reestablished in large areas of the Caribbean region and spread to other zones of the country.
The symptoms of malaria include chills, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, headache, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, cough, and muscle pain. It is crucial to visit a medical center for timely assessment if presented with any of these symptoms.
The recent malaria outbreak in Limón is a reminder that the disease remains a significant public health challenge in Costa Rica. The Ministry of Health and other authorities are taking action to address the situation, but individuals must also take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and seek medical attention promptly if symptoms occur.