Malaria Back In Venezuela

Experts are once again worried about malaria back in Venezuela after it had been gone for 50 years.  Mosquitos carrying the disease are affecting people from jungles to urban areas and experts are worried that it will take over two years to reverse the problem, a The Guardian article states.

scottfiller_venezuelaThis is worrisome after Venezuela declared itself malaria-free back in the 1960s.  During the 1950s, the country worked tirelessly for a decade and made the country malaria-free through educational campaigns, DDT spraying, and improving housing and sewage systems.  Most residents believe there is a stronger issue at hand.  A health minister from Miranda thinks that the largest obstacle will be the government teaming up with public and private health sectors to eliminate the problem. 

Jesus Javier Parra, a construction worker who lives in Quilombo, which is located less than 30 miles from the capital city of Caracas, was the second confirmed case diagnosed.  While general symptoms take place in between one week and two weeks, Parra had the disease for a month before it was properly diagnosed.  Why so long?  The main reason is because Venezuelans haven’t seen a case of malaria in over 50 years.  Another contributor is that, even though Parra had gone to the doctor beforehand for a fever, they didn’t test for malaria due to Quilombo’s close proximity to an urban area.  One of the doctors stated that, with his symptoms, the initial reaction was to test for tuberculosis and dengue, as Parra’s body was beginning to look “diminished,” but the doctor mentioned that “it never occurred to us” that it could be malaria.

In the same month of Parra’s diagnosis, nearly one dozen of his neighbors went to the doctor with symptoms of malaria and of the 32 reported cases in the state, over half have come from the community of Quilombo, a town with shacks and tin roofs.