Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Malaria in Mexico

Mexico is successfully combating the malaria infection and "has made substantial" advances "in decreasing its malaria burden," according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). There has been no reported death in Mexico attributed to malaria since 1982.

"The risk of Malaria in Mexico low" (Traveldoctor). Infections caused by the most severe form of malaria (P. falciparum) account for less than 1% of cases. Furthermore, the number of reported cases has also dropped significantly in that time. "Between 1985 and 2003, the numbers of reported cases decreased by 97%, to 3,819 cases in 2003" (CDC).

The climate of Mexico yields itself to the spread and breeding of malaria; however, the country has nearly eradicated the disease in many regions. "17 of the country's 32 states have not reported any case of malaria during the past 4 years, and are in the process of being certified as having eliminated malaria" (CDC).

Mexico attributes its success to a strategy of "intensive surveillance". "In such areas, patients and their families are treated repeatedly with antimalarial drugs; breeding sites for mosquito larvae are destroyed or treated; and pyrethroid insecticides are sprayed as needed, inside houses and outdoors" (CDC). Mexico is also taking measures to safeguard the ecosystems, by "introducing new strategies to prevent malaria outbreaks -- without the help of DDT" (IDRC).

Mexico's success inspires other countries in the region to make moves to eradicate malaria within their borders.

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Malaria Nobel Prizes". 26 January 2005.
IDRC Archive. "Controlling Malaria in Mexico Using Alternatives to DDT". 14 September 2001.
TravelDoctor. "Mexico". 13 July 2009.

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