Update: Malaria Outbreak Resolved in Costa Rica

There have been no cases of locally transmitted malaria in Costa Rica since December 2017. The Costa Rican Ministry of Health had reported 12 cases of locally transmitted malaria from March–December 2017 in focal areas including: Matina Canton (3) in Limon Province, San Carlos Canton (6) in Alajuela Province, and Sarapiqui Canton (3) in Heredia Province. All cases were associated with agricultural workers. No official report on the species of malaria parasite was available. There had been no documented local transmission of malaria in Costa Rica from 2012 until the end of 2016 when 4 cases of locally transmitted P. vivax were reported.

Public health authorities in Costa Rica responded to this outbreak by enhancing malaria surveillance, ensuring timely case management, and educating the community and health care workers on malaria.

While no malaria prophylaxis is recommended, travelers should continue to take measures to avoid mosquito bites, as malaria and other diseases can be spread by mosquitoes. These measures include using insect repellent when outdoors, wearing protective clothing, staying in an air-conditioned or well-screened area, and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net.

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.

Page last reviewed: April 16, 2018