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Brazil, Goias and Rio de Janeiro States: Increase in Malaria

Brazil is experiencing an increase in locally transmitted malaria in the states of Goias and Rio de Janeiro (Fig 1). In Goias State, 5 cases of locally-acquired P. vivax malaria were identified in Goiania City from March 3–13, 2015. Previously, in October and November of 2014, 11 cases of locally-acquired malaria were identified in Goiania City. It is unknown if the current cases are related to the cases from 2014. All cases were thought to be related to visits to the Parque Flamboyant, a forested area in the middle of the city. None of these cases were in the city of Brasilia which has no malaria.

Last week, CDC reported on an increase of malaria cases in the central part of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the forested, mountainous areas. This region has reported on average 6 cases a year, but from January 17–February 25, 2015, 23 cases of locally-acquired P. vivax malaria were identified. None of these cases were in the city of Rio de Janeiro which remains malaria-free.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health, Goias State, and Rio de Janeiro State public health authorities are taking measures to investigate and prevent new cases in the areas affected. In Goias State, vector control activities have been implemented. In Rio de Janeiro State, since the transmission has been occurring in the forested areas where vector control activities would be challenging, personal protective measures such as use of insect repellent, and insecticide treated bednets are being encouraged.

CDC recommends that travelers to Goiania City in Goias State, and the central, mountainous forested areas of Rio de Janeiro State use mosquito avoidance measures which includes the use of personal protective measures, such as applying an insect repellent and wearing a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and hat when outdoors and sleeping in an air-conditioned or well-screened area, or under an insecticide treated bednet at night.

See the CDC Malaria website (http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/) for additional health information about malaria and preventing malaria. For general health information for travelers to all areas of the world see the CDC Traveler’s Health website (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/).

Fig 1: Map of Brazil

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