Malaria a New Threat in Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti, Says CDC
People being homeless due the earthquake on January 12 in Haiti, are now being infected with malaria. Relief workers, who are supposed to build up immunity, are facing problems as they have not put up any such exemption.
Eleven cases of P. falciparum malaria infection have been reported by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These infections have been found among emergency personnel and Haitian residents who frequently traveled to the U. S.
"Displaced persons living outdoors or in temporary shelters and thousands of emergency responders in Haiti is at substantial risk for malaria", said the CDC.
Seven emergency responders, six military personnel; three Haitian residents who took a trip to the U. S., and one American traveler have been found infected with malaria. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of the 11 cases, four of the cases were basic while the two were complicated and were transferred to the United States for thorough care.
"Falciparum is the killer strain of malaria. It can cause intestinal hemorrhaging, cerebral inflammation or pneumonitis, which is an inflammation of the lungs. Cerebral malaria has a significant death rate", said Dr. Gordon Dickinson, Chief of Infectious Diseases at the UM Medical School.
Malaria is endemic to Haiti, claimed Kristen Knutson, a spokeswoman for the United Nations' Office.
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