Bug off! Are expats bringing malaria into Saudi Arabia?

Published April 27th, 2016 - 11:03 GMT
Mosquitos are the carrier of malaria plasmodium. (Shutterstock)
Mosquitos are the carrier of malaria plasmodium. (Shutterstock)

The Ministry of Health has revealed that 96.8 percent of malaria cases recorded in 2015 involved newly arrived expatriates, with 3.2 percent local cases or 83 people, a local newspaper reported recently. 

A source was quoted as saying that malaria infection rates stood at 0.48 per 100,000 people, with no deaths recorded. This coincided with the holding of World Malaria Day, held annually on April 25, under the theme “End Malaria for Good.” 

Malaria is caused by a parasite called plasmodium that is passed onto humans from mosquitoes and then invades and destroys red blood cells. 

It can result in death if not treated.

According to reports, malaria is found in 97 countries around the world with 214 million infected and 438,000 deaths.

In addition, 3.2 billion people, about half the world’s population, is at risk of infection.

The number of deaths fell 48 percent during the period from 2000 to 2015. 

The ministry has urged people to take extra precautionary measures including seeking medical help if they have fever, and have vaccinations when traveling to parts of the world affected by the disease.

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