Health officials are reporting a big increase in malaria cases in the poverty stricken socialist country of Venezuela, up more than 72 percent in the first 29 weeks of the year compared to the same period in 2015.

Anopheles gambiae mosquito Image/CDC
Anopheles gambiae mosquito

To date, the National Epidemiology Network in the country say 125,158 cases of malaria have been recorded (computer translated). This is an increase of some 20,000 cases in the past month.

In fact the estimates from health officials put the numbers at year end to be 200,000 in 2016, of which about 30% are caused by Plasmodium falciparum (computer translated).

Nearly 82 percent of the cases have been reported from Bolivar state.

While most countries with malaria are reporting pretty significant decreases in the mosquito borne parasitic disease, Venezuela is one of four countries reporting an increase.

The increase in P. falciparum cases has been a strain on the country’s supply of artemisinin derivatives are getting low and it takes up to 3 months to get supplies replenished.