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An imported case of falciparum malaria has bee reported in the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran, according to a laboratorian at the Comprehensive Health Lab of Tabriz.

Image/Ehsan Mamaghanizadeh

In a social media post yesterday, Ehsan Mamaghanizadeh reported the case in a truck driver that had recently traveled to Pakistan.

Mamaghanizadeh notes–  the infected person, with symptoms of fever and severe physical weakness, referred to the Comprehensive Health Lab of Tabriz and the blood sample was taken by the staff. After performing the rapid test, the person was declared positive. Various slides have been prepared and will be sent to the whole cities of Iran for examination and training purposes.

In addition, he stated that according to World Health Organization data, the last positive case of Plasmodium falciparum species was observed in Iran about 30 years ago

Plasmodium vivax is the predominant malaria species in Iran. The last indigenous case of malaria was reported in Iran was in 2018.

Malaria books and more

According to a Tehran Times report in April, a Health Ministry official has said that not a single death due to malaria was reported in the country over the past eight months.

“Over the past eight months, we have faced a four-fold increase in the incidence of malaria in the country, but fortunately, there have been no cases of death or local transmission of this disease,” Abdorreza Mir-Oliyaee said.

The endemic areas of malaria in Iran include the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province as well as the southern provinces of Hormozgan and Kerman, he added, ISNA reported.

In areas of Sistan-Baluchestan that share a border with Pakistan, one of the factors of the increase in the disease can be the increase in traffic through the unofficial border crossing, he explained.

“Another reason was the occurrence of floods in some states of Pakistan, and following this incident, the growth of malaria is not far from expected in the susceptible region.”

Globally, there were an estimated 247 million malaria cases in 2021 in 84 malaria endemic countries, an increase from 245 million in 2020, with most of this increase coming from countries in the WHO African Region.

Twenty-nine countries accounted for 96% of malaria cases globally, and four countries – Nigeria
(27%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%) and Mozambique (4%) – accounted for almost half of all cases globally.

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