Invasive Mosquito Spreading Malaria in Africa
A species of malaria-carrying mosquito is spreading in Africa, where it could pose a "unique" threat to millions of city-dweller, reported AFP/RFI.
The disease can cause fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If it is not treated, it can cause severe complications.
This is important since Africa is where about 95% of the world's malaria deaths occur.
Modeling research in 2020 found that if Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes spread widely in Africa, it would put more than 126 million people in 44 cities at risk of malaria.
The findings come after the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research confirmed in July 2022 it had detected Anopheles stephensi in West Africa for the first time.
Sarah Zohdy, a specialist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told AFP it was "surprising" that the mosquito was detected so far west, as the focus had been on the Horn of Africa.
"The evidence now suggests that this is something that the world needs to act on."
Annually, millions of U.S. residents travel to countries where malaria is present, with about 2,000 cases diagnosed mostly in returned travelers.
The CDC says an individual risk assessment should be conducted for every traveler, taking into account the destination country and the detailed itinerary, including specific cities, types of accommodation, seasons, and travel styles.
According to the CDC, Malaria is a vaccine-preventable disease.
On October 6, 2021, the World Health Organization recommended the Mosquirix™ (RTS,S) malaria vaccine.
As of November 26, 2022, the U.S. FDA had not approved a malaria vaccine.
However, the FDA did approve Artesunate to treat severe malaria in adult and pediatric patients in May 2020.
Additional malaria news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Malaria.