Malaria makes a comeback

Malaria makes a comeback

Malaria makes a comeback Photo: Flickr CC / Mario Yordanov

It had been more than 50 years since there had been a trace of it, but Anopheles Sacharovi, one of the main strains of malaria in Italy, is once again causing concern among experts after a discovery in Puglia, on the Salento coast between Lecce and Otranto.

The news, as reported by La Repubblica, comes from a study conducted by Donato Antonio Reale and Maria Assunta Cafiero of the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Puglia and Basilicata and published in the specialist journal PubMed.

A specimen of Anopheles Sacharovi – which was last seen in Italy during the late 1960s – was collected in the municipality of Lecce as part of a surveillance project. During the survey, Anopheles Sacharovi larvae was found at six different sites and seven adults were infected. A result, say the researchers, that calls for increased surveillance in southern Italy to prevent the risk of reintroduction of the disease.

Malaria is a tropical disease that affects more than 200 million people a year worldwide. Fever, headache, tension in the neck muscles, chills and sweating, sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, are the usual symptoms which generally appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite.

In 2015, according to WHO data, there were 214 million cases worldwide and malaria killed 438,000 people, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. 80 per cent of the deaths occurred in children under the age of five.

In 2016, the WHO declared Europe free of malaria. Now it seems it might be making a comeback.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.


    • Brian

      02 May 2024 • 14:35

      Wonder who brought that little beast in? Couldn’t possibly be in illegal immigrant, could it?

    • D Bath

      02 May 2024 • 17:34

      Let’s not start this again. The WHO of yesterday were a great band. The WHO of today? Not so much.

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