Malaria cases in Ireland up third year in a row

By staff reporter

The number of malaria cases in the country has increased for the third year running.

There were 71 recorded cases of the disease last year, up 9 per cent on 2012.

All of these were contracted abroad, with most people travelling to visit family in their country of origin.

Nearly half of the cases came from Nigeria, where malaria is classed as one of the country’s most deadly diseases.

The results come after a decline of more than 25 per cent in 2011, according to figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC).

The authority has underlined that children can be particular vulnerable to malaria, with 12 paediatric cases recorded last year.

“It is important that persons born in Western and Central Africa who take up residence in Ireland and who return to their country of origin with their Irish-born children are made aware of the fact that their children have no innate immunity to malaria,” Sarah Jackson and Paul McKeown of the HSPC said.

The HSE noted that most cases contracted are due to travellers not taking the proper anti-malaria medication.

No outbreaks have been recorded in Ireland, though globally the disease killed over 600,000 people in 2012.

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