The Bahamas Ministry of Health and Welfare confirmed on Wednesday the first case of malaria in an inhabitant of the Atlantic archipelago in more than 10 years.
The infected person is a man in his 30s, a resident of New Providence, who recently traveled to West Africa, the ministry said in a press release.
The infected person is already receiving treatment at a private health center and is expected to have a full recovery.
Bahamian Health Minister Michael Darville told reporters Wednesday that the infected person has a travel history to a country where malaria is endemic.
“Initially, the person did not feel well, so he visited several doctors, and after some questions about his travel history, it was confirmed that he was positive for malaria,” he explained.
Bahamas activated its tracking system equipment
Given this, the health agency activated its tracking and surveillance system teams after the confirmation of the malaria case and will provide updates to the public, if necessary.
Darville explained that the confirmed case was published, so that the surveillance team contacts the people who were with the infected person and the protocols are carried out.
«I wanted to announce it before the press sensationalizes the news. I just want to notify the population that we have a positive case of malaria in the country,” she added.
Malaria and its symptoms
Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bite of infected females of the Anopheles mosquito genus.
The first symptoms (fever, headache and chills) usually appear 10-15 days after the mosquito bite and, although they may be mild, if left untreated they can lead to a serious clinical picture and cause death within 24 hours.
According to the latest World Malaria Report, in 2020 there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide.
Africa, with an estimated 228 million cases in 2020, accounted for close to 95% of cases.