By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In a follow-up to a report from late July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for the African country of Burundi due to an ongoing malaria epidemic.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, 5,738,661 cases were reported this year through July 21. This represents a 97 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2018.
The total population of the country is about 12 million. In addition, 1,801 deaths have been recorded.
CDC advises travelers to take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Resistance to chloroquine (one of the drugs used to prevent malaria) is high in Burundi, so travelers should use daily atovaquone-proguanil, daily doxycycline, or weekly mefloquine to prevent malaria.
Because the drugs used to prevent malaria are not 100% effective, travelers should also take steps to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing when outdoors. Because the mosquitoes that spread malaria most often bite at night, travelers should sleep in an air-conditioned or well-screened room or under an insecticide-treated bed net every night.
Travelers who develop a fever while in Burundi or after traveling to Burundi should seek medical care immediately. Malaria is a medical emergency, and appropriate treatment cannot be delayed.
Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that spreads to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Early symptoms of malaria resemble those of the flu, including fever, chills, sweats, headache, vomiting, and body aches. Without prompt diagnosis and treatment, malaria can rapidly progress to severe illness and death.
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