According to health officials, 8.5 million people have been infected with Malaria between Tuesday, January 1, 2019, and Sunday, January 5, 2020. This figure represents a 93 percent increase over 2018. At least 3170 related deaths have been reported in this period across the country.
The scale of the malaria epidemic has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue and advisory for travelers.
Further spread of the disease is to be expected over the coming weeks.
Malaria is endemic in most parts of Burundi with peaks in number of cases usually observed from April to May and from November to December.
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.
Individuals in Burundi are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air conditioned room - and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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