Malaria in Costa Rica (Zona Norte)

14 December 2021

Article: 55/5002

Costa Rican public health authorities report an ongoing outbreak of malaria in the Zona Norte region of the country, near the border with Nicaragua. Malaria is uncommon in this region, but an increase in cases has been reported since September 2021.

During November 2021, there were 138 cases of malaria in the region affecting the communities of Medio Queso, San Gerardo, Cuatro Esquinas, Isla Chica, La Trocha, Las Delicias and Coquita.

Advice for travellers

While higher than expected cases of malaria continue to be reported, travellers to this area should: 

  • be made aware of the risk of malaria, given the current increase in cases 
  • practise strict mosquito bite avoidance 
  • consider antimalarial chemoprophylaxis if in a group at higher risk from malaria

Travellers returning from malarious areas should seek prompt medical advice if they develop a fever during travel or on their return, ensuring they highlight their potential exposure to malaria.

Further advice and information on malaria is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Source: TRAVAX, 8 December 2021