The Costa Rican Health Ministry issued a health alert last week due to malaria outbreaks reported in neighboring Nicaragua and the first autochthonous transmission of malaria in the country since 2012.

Malaria life cycle/CDC
Malaria life cycle/CDC

According to a TeleSur report (computer translated), the health ministry said due to the high endemicity of malaria in Nicaragua and the high rate of constant migration between the two countries prompted the health alert.

Official data indicates that Costa Rica had not reported any cases of autochthonous transmitted malaria since 2012. However, so far this year nine total locally acquired cases have been reported– four cases in Matina, Limón province (Caribe), three in Sarapiquí, province of Heredia (northeast), and two in Pital, province of Alajaula (north).

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The health alert obliges the health services to reinforce equipment and personnel, to increase surveillance and recruitment of suspicious cases throughout the country, but especially in the so-called malaria endemic areas, which are below 500 meters above sea level.