CDC Confirms 11 Malaria Cases In People Who Traveled To Haiti

The CDC on Thursday said it confirmed that 11 cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria “among emergency personnel and Haitian residents who traveled to the U.S.,” the Miami Herald reports. “The cases include: seven emergency responders, including six military personnel; three Haitian residents who traveled to the U.S., including one Haitian adoptee; and one U.S. traveler,” the newspaper writes (Tasker, 3/5).

In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC “said malaria is endemic throughout Haiti and both the displaced people living out of doors or in temporary shelters and the thousands of emergency responders in Haiti are at substantial risk for the disease,” United Press International reports. The agency recommended that people traveling to Haiti take drugs to prevent malaria (3/4).

According to PAHO, Haiti reports about 30,000 cases of malaria annually, “but the CDC estimates as many as 200,000 may occur each year,” Reuters writes. The CDC said malaria transmission in the country “peaks after the two rainy seasons – November to January and again during May to June,” the news service reports (3/4).    

In related news, American Public Media’s “Marketplace” examines “the economics of disaster assistance in Haiti.” There are many ways “that aid supplies can have unintended effects, and in more complicated ways than just clogging up ports. Let’s say, for example, you want to give food to a country, so you give tons of your own wheat, for free. Well, then you’re undercutting local food producers. They can’t compete with free food” (Ben-Achour, 3/4).

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