As of early November, an ongoing outbreak of malaria has infected over 11,931 people nationwide in 2018. According to the Ministry of Health, the most affected area is the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RAAN). Public health measures, including fumigation campaigns, are expected to continue in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, further spread of the outbreak is expected in the near term.
Generally speaking, the risk of contracting malaria is highest at night (between dusk and dawn), when the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are most active. The risk tends to be highest in RAAN and the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RAAS); there is a lower risk in the departments of Boaco, Chinandega, Estelí, Jinotega, León, Matagalpa, and Nueva Segovia. Malaria is typically not present in Managua department and there is typically little to no risk of contracting the disease in urban areas, although the disease may be present in city outskirts.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, nausea, and body aches; early symptoms usually appear between seven and 15 days after the contaminating mosquito bite. There is no vaccine but preventive medications are available.
Various other mosquito-borne diseases are also present in Nicaragua, including dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya.
Individuals in Nicaragua are advised to take measures to prevent mosquito bites and to seek medical attention if experiencing the above symptoms.
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