Coinciding with World Malaria Day on 25 April, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published the Meeting report: Consultation on Plasmodium vivax transmission risk in Europe.
The report (available at http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/MER-Malaria-meeting.pdf) describes the outcome of an expert consultation on Plasmodium vivax transmission in Europe on 17 and 18 January 2012. The meeting was organised by ECDC in response to the malaria outbreak in Greece in 2011, with the aim to assess the malaria transmission risk in Europe and propose possible preventive measures.
The experts confirmed the need to develop an integrated preparedness and response plan for local malaria transmission for EU countries at risk, which was one of the recommendations of the assessment missions by ECDC and WHO in Greece in 2011. [Source: ECDC News Release, 25 April 2012. http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/press/news/Pages/News.aspx]
New figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) moreover show that despite a five per cent decrease in malaria infections reported in 2011 (1,677) compared to 2010 (1,761), cases among travellers returning from the Indian-subcontinent increased by 22%, from 274 cases in 2010 to 334 cases in 2011. The increase in cases from the Indian-subcontinent in 2011 is largely due to a doubling of cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria acquired in Pakistan.
In 2011, eight deaths from malaria were reported, six from falciparum malaria acquired in Africa and two from vivax malaria acquired in India. [Source: HPA Press Release, 25 April 2012. http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressReleases/2012PressReleases/120425Malaria/]
Detailed advice on malaria prevention is available for health professionals on Travax (at http://www.travax.nhs.uk/malaria.aspx) and for the general public at http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/malaria.aspx.