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The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there is one new imported case of malaria in the country. This is the first case of the year.

Malaria life cycle/CDC

The individual is a Swiss male in his 50s who has been to the Republic of Ivory Coast in West Africa from late December (2022) to early January (2023).

He did not take malaria prophylaxis.

After entering Taiwan on January 9, he developed fever and headache symptoms and went to the doctor on January 17. The blood test found suspected malaria parasites, and was confirmed to be infected with falciparum malaria (Plasmodium falciparum).

According to the monitoring data of the CDC, a total of 14 cases have been diagnosed in the past five years (2019-2023), all of which are imported cases. Most of the infected areas are African countries. The main pathogen detected is falciparum malaria, followed by vivax malaria.

According to the Department of Disease Control and Prevention, malaria is a disease transmitted by the bite of anopheles mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium. Malaria and Plasmodium falciparum (also known as tropical malaria) are the most common. After most people are infected, symptoms may appear within 7 days to 30 days. The early symptoms are similar to those of influenza, mainly fever, and headache, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue may also appear. After a few days of onset, symptoms such as intermittent or periodic chills, tremors, fever, and sweating may appear. Severe cases may lead to splenomegaly, jaundice, shock, liver and kidney failure, pulmonary edema, acute encephalopathy, and coma.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention further stated that Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale may relapse after a few weeks or even years of dormancy in the liver. Therefore, after the treatment of blood plasmodium, primaquine must be taken for 14 days for eradication to prevent Avoid recurrence of P. vivax or P. ovale.

The CDC urges people to go to malaria-endemic areas, please go to the domestic travel medicine clinic for consultation at least one month before going abroad, and continue to take malaria preventive medicines before going abroad, during going abroad and after returning to the country according to the doctor’s instructions; travel During this period, please try to wear light-colored long-sleeved trousers, apply mosquito repellent approved by the government, and live in a house with screen doors and windows; if you have suspected symptoms after returning to your country, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and provide the doctor’s travel history and medication history. Malaria preventive drugs and other information, as a reference for diagnosis and treatment.