The malaria outbreak ongoing in the capital city of Praia since June 30 continues to spread, and has reportedly extended further across the country. As of Monday, October 30, more than 340 cases were reported nationwide, which is reportedly the highest number recorded in nearly three decades. While a small number of cases were reported outside the capital on neighboring islands, they were found in individuals who had acquired it in Praia. Reports say unsuitable prevention methods, new mosquito breeding grounds, and the incorrect use of insecticide may be to blame for the current outbreak. It is possible that the outbreak will continue to spread in the coming weeks.
From 2012 until 2017, Cape Verde averaged only one case of malaria per year.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, nausea, and body aches. Early symptoms usually appear between ten and 15 days after the contaminating mosquito bite. There is no vaccine but preventive medications are available. Pregnant women, HIV-positive persons, children under the age of five, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.
To minimize the risk of contracting malaria or the many other mosquito-borne diseases present in Cape Verde, use insect repellent, wear covering clothing, and sleep under mosquito netting or in an air conditioned room. If you develop a high fever during or after travel in areas affected by malaria, seek immediate medical attention.
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