Malaria Outbreak in Ginosa, Italy
On October 3, 2017, Italy reported four cases of locally transmitted P. falciparum malaria among migrant agricultural workers in Ginosa, which is in the Taranto Province of the Apulia region of Italy. The four patients were males, between 21–37 years of age, and lived in camps with other migrant workers in the Ginosa area. Three of the patients were from Morocco where there is no malaria, and one is from Sudan which is a malaria-endemic country. All reported no travel for the past two months. Italian public health authorities continue to investigate this outbreak.
Italy was declared free of malaria by the World Health Organization in 1970. However, the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, specifically Anopheles labrachiae, An. manulipennis, An. superpictus, and possibly An. sacharovi, are present. Thus, rare autochthonous cases have been reported including P. vivax in Tuscany in 1997 and P. vivax in Latina Province in 2009.
Given the focal, limited nature of this outbreak so far, CDC recommends only mosquito avoidance measures for travelers to agricultural areas of Ginosa. 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. CDC will continue to monitor the malaria situation in Italy and will update these recommendations as needed.
See the CDC 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 Travelers’ Health website.