Due to the island’s tropical climate, malaria is one of the vector diseases present in the Dominican Republic, as reflected in the 140 malaria cases detected by the Directorate General of Epidemiology (Digepi) as of mid-July.
One of the most recent infections was an imported case involving a 52-year-old Haitian-American man who was taken to a medical center in the city of Santo Domingo in critical condition. The man, who arrived in the territory on a cruise ship that docked in La Romana, was taken to a hospital in the province and diagnosed with pneumonia and a stroke before being transferred to the capital, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
The entity explained that, according to relatives, the patient, who also had symptoms of fever, difficulty breathing and seizures on board the ship, had traveled to Benin, West Africa, from June 24 to July 18, and returned to the United States last month. On the 27th, he boarded a boat bound for Dominican territory, where his temperature began to rise.
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and is transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito, with symptoms including fever, vomiting and headache.
However, he maintains that the typical way the disease manifests itself in the body is with symptoms such as fever, sweating and chills within 10 to 15 days of being bitten by a vector.
Regions with the highest incidence
Nationally, Azua is the province with the highest malaria prevalence, accounting for 75 of the 140 confirmed cases.
According to Digepi, San Juan de la Maguana is another demarcation with the highest number of infections with 50 cases, followed by Mayor Jato with three infections, Santo Domingo and Elias Pinha each. 2 cases of infection.
The rest, who totaled eight, said they corresponded to foreigners, without elaborating on their origin.
To prevent malaria, experts recommend the same measures as for dengue, which is also vector-borne, such as chlorinating water, covering ponds and sleeping with mosquito nets.
Authorities are committed to eradicating the disease
Last February, the Dominican Republic was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its achievements in the fight against malaria, which has declined in recent years. With 336 cases of the disease registered in 2022, the country is one of the closest in the region to eliminating it, according to the Ministry of Public Health.