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Malaria Outbreak Sept 14, 2006
09-18-2006, 09:22 AM,
Malaria Outbreak Sept 14, 2006


(reposted from the CDC website)

Outbreak Notice

Update: Malaria, Great Exuma, Bahamas

This information is current as of today, September 14, 2006,

10:02:37 AM

Updated: August 1 and June 30, 2006

Released: June 16, 2006

In mid-June 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC) received official reports of confirmed malaria cases in Great Exuma, Bahamas, an area where malaria transmission does not normally occur and for which antimalarial drugs have not previously been recommended. As of July 28, there have been a total of 18 cases of which 4 occurred in travelers. Of the 4 travel-associated cases, 2 travelers were from the U.S., 1 from Canada, and 1 from Germany. All had traveled to Great Exuma for varying periods between late April through mid-June.

All these confirmed infections were caused by Plasmodium falciparum.

Most of the patients reported no recent travel to malaria-endemic areas, but some of the Bahamas residents diagnosed with malaria may have recently traveled from Haiti, where P. falciparum is endemic.

No additional cases of malaria have been identified since June 19.

Malaria is not considered endemic on the islands of the Bahamas. The Ministry of Health in the Bahamas has responded with heightened surveillance for and treatment of malaria cases, mosquito control measures, and education of the local population. The Caribbean Epidemiology Center and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization are assisting the Ministry of Health with these response measures.


At this time, CDC is recommending that U.S. based travelers take preventive doses of chloroquine before, during, and after they travel to Great Exuma. This recommendation is expected to be temporary and does not apply to other islands of the Bahamas.

Chloroquinehas a long history of use and safety and is well tolerated by most people, including children. People with an allergy to chloroquine should discuss an alternative antimalarial drug with their health-care provider. To learn more about chloroquine, including dosing information, see Information for the Public:

Prescription Drugs for Malaria.

Other Prevention Measures

Because chloroquine and other antimalarial drugs are not 100% protective, travelers to Great Exuma should take precautions to protect against mosquito bites. These prevention measures should be taken by travelers to other islands in the Bahamas as well because other mosquito transmitted infections occur there.

• Use insect repellent on exposed skin surfaces when outdoors,

particularly from dusk to dawn. Repellents containing 30% – 50% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are recommended. Lower concentrations of DEET offer shorter-term protection, requiring more frequent reapplication.

• To learn more about preventing mosquito bites and the

appropriate use of insect repellents, visit Protection Against Mosquito and Other Arthropods in Health Information for International Travel and What You Need to Know about Mosquito Repellent.

Malaria caused by P. falciparum may rapidly result in a severe, life- threatening illness if not promptly treated. If you have traveled to Great Exuma and you become ill with fever and other flu-like symptoms, you should immediately seek professional medical care; inform your health-care provider that you have visited an area currently experiencing a malaria outbreak.


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