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Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

Ireland report rise in malaria cases, half from travelers to Nigeria

The  Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in Ireland has reported 71 malaria cases (all imported) in 2013, up from 65 cases (9%) from the year before.

Image-CDC/ James Gathany

Image-CDC/ James Gathany

The category of traveler most affected in Ireland continued to be African immigrants and their families who were exposed while returning to ‘visit family in country of origin’. Almost half of the cases came from Nigeria.

Plasmodium falciparum accounted for 89% of infections in 2013, reflecting the dominance of exposure in Africa as the source of the majority of notifications. One case each of P. ovale and P vivax were also reported which remains stable in comparison to previous years. The remaining six cases did not have Plasmodium species specified.

Several of the cases were in children, prompting the HPSC to highlight the risk of malaria to children.

Children can be particularly at risk. It is important that persons born in Western and Central Africa who take up residence in Ireland and who return to their country of origin with their Irish-born children are made aware of the fact that their children have no innate immunity to malaria (and their own immunity will likely have waned considerably), and must complete their full course of advised chemoprophylaxis while taking steps to ensure they avoid mosquito bites.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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