The suspected cases of malaria imported from the Dominican Republic have risen to 19 in Puerto Rico,while the number of confirmed cases has reached 14, said the Minister of Health, Ana Rius.
Samples of the 19 suspected cases, Puerto Ricans who visited Punta Cana in the Dominican East region, are being analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)in Atlanta, United States. Malaria in the Dominican Republic has previously been imported from Haiti, with Punta Cana the focus of previous outbreaks.
“People returning from any country with malaria should be alert to symptoms of the disease within the first two to four weeks after the trip, and if there are symptoms, see your doctor for evaluation or treatment,” said Rius.
The Minister recalled that malaria is eradicated throughout the Caribbean, with Haiti being the only country with sustained malaria transmission. Over the past decade small outbreaks in the Dominican Republic have been reported and during the period 2006-2010 there was a large outbreak in Kingston, Jamaica, which also was believed to have originated from immigrants from Haiti.
Due to the health situation, the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico will held on August 20 the symposium ‘Malaria: current situation in Puerto Rico’ with the participation of eminent researchers.
To the symposium will assist the expert Keith Carter, senior advisor on malaria in the Pan American Health Organization.
Malaria is a disease transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito bite and some of the areas at risk of contracting this disease are Africa, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
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