Update: Malaria Outbreak in Cape Verde Capital City, Praia

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an outbreak of P. falciparum malaria in Cape Verde. For the past five years, Cape Verde has had only one case of locally transmitted malaria per year. However, between June 30 and July 30, 2017, 45 indigenous cases were reported in the capital city, Praia on Sao Tiago (also known as Santiago) Island.

Public health authorities in Cape Verde are working with WHO to conduct an outbreak investigation and to implement an appropriate response for malaria control.

Cape Verde has previously had limited malaria transmission, and CDC had recommended only mosquito avoidance measures on Sao Tiago Island. However, with this increase in cases, CDC now recommends that travelers to the city of Praia on Sao Tiago Island take antimalarials to prevent malaria. Effective antimalarial options include atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, and mefloquine. CDC will continue to monitor the malaria situation in Cape Verde and will update these recommendations as needed.

Malaria and other diseases are spread by mosquito bites, therefore measures to prevent mosquito bites should be taken regardless of area of travel. These measures include using insect repellent when outdoors, staying in an air-conditioned or well-screened area, and sleeping under an insecticide treated bed net.

See CDC’s malaria website for additional health information about malaria including prevention of mosquito bites and drugs for malaria prevention. For general health information for travelers to all areas of the world, see the CDC Traveler’s Health website.

Page last reviewed: August 8, 2017