Malaria is a dangerous mosquito-borne infectious disease, with millions of cases occurring worldwide every year. While it is primarily prominent in sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 2,000 cases occur in the United States annually (“Malaria,” 2022). According to the CDC, the natural history of the disease concerns the cyclical infection from female mosquitoes Anopheles (“Biology,” 2022). The parasites from mosquitoes’ injections multiply, invade blood red cells and get ingested by other female mosquitoes during feeding. Consequently, the parasites procreate in the insect’s gut and migrate to its salivary glands after approximately fourteen days, finishing the infection cycle. The primary symptoms of the disease include fever, headaches, chills, nausea, and body aches, leading to a person’s death if left untreated (“Disease,” 2022). While malaria is an infectious disease, it cannot be transmitted from person to person. Therefore, the outbreak characteristics are generally environmental and limited to sub-Saharan regions, with only limited cases in the United States (“FAQs,” 2022). Moreover, mosquitoes strive in rural areas, and the parasites need a warm climate to grow, making African regions highly susceptible to outbreaks.
One of the recent notable outbreaks of malaria occurred in Zimbabwe in 2020. A lockdown due to COVID-19 restrictions posed a significant threat to malaria infections in several relatively rural regions (Chingono, 2020). The conditions were perfect for an outbreak since it was a warm and wet season from February until April. Zimbabwe’s healthcare was struggling due to COVID-19 and poor working conditions, leading to significant shortages of drugs (Chingono, 2020). The outbreak in Zimbabwe reflected the case definition, associated with all necessary conditions for a malaria outbreak. As a result, high population density, inadequate healthcare, shortage of drugs, warm season, and rural areas in the sub-Saharan area led to a malaria outbreak.
Biology. (2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chingono, N. (2020). Zimbabwe faces malaria outbreak as it locks down to counter coronavirus. The Guardian.
Disease. (2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs). (2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Malaria. (2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.