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Taiwan confirms second case of malaria this year

2018/08/19 21:49:18

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) A 19-year-old man from Kaohsiung has been confirmed as having malaria, which was the second imported case of the disease in the country this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Sunday.

The patient, a student at a college in Hsinchu, was diagnosed with the infectious disease after he went to a Kaohsiung hospital on Aug. 17 with a fever, CDC Deputy Director-General Luo Yi-jun (羅一鈞) said.

The hospital diagnosed the man with tropical malaria, the most serious form of the disease, which is caused by the deadly parasite Plasmodium falciparum, Luo said. The patient is still in a critical condition, he added.

Without prompt treatment, this type of malaria could lead to severe life-threatening complications such as breathing problems and organ failure, Luo said.

He said the CDC believes the man was infected during a trip to Kenya for volunteer work from June. 28 to Aug. 3.

Before his visit to Africa, the student obtained antimalarial medication but took only a third of the full course in contravention of the doctor's orders, Luo said.

He said around a dozen other Taiwanese volunteers who joined the trip to Kenya have not shown any signs of malarial infection so far.

He advised that travelers to India or Africa, where there is a generally high risk of malaria, take antimalarial medication ahead of time and finish the course of treatment in accordance with their doctors' instructions.

On July 10, an Indian national in Taiwan, who was working on a cargo vessel, was diagnosed with malaria, the first imported case of the disease in the country this year, according to the CDC.

(By Joseph Yeh)