Ministry of Health Encourages Persons to take Necessary Precautions When Visiting Malaria Endemic Countries

Port of Spain, June 21, 2024: The Ministry of Health takes the opportunity to remind the public that Malaria is a curable and preventable vector-borne disease.  

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaria can be contracted from the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. However, it cannot be spread directly from person-to-person like the flu or common cold.

Anopheles mosquitoes usually bite during the late evening and night periods. This contrasts with the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which causes the Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever viruses, which are more active during the daytime. Malaria is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions.

Trinidad and Tobago was certified Malaria-free in 1965 by the WHO and has maintained its non-endemic status to date. Although Trinidad and Tobago is a non-endemic country, the Ministry of Health maintains an adequate supply of medication to treat cases as they occur.

For 2024, there have been three laboratory confirmed Malaria cases recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, all of which are imported cases. During the period 2014 to 2023, the average number of laboratory confirmed Malaria cases recorded annually in Trinidad and Tobago was 15.

Members of the public who intend to travel to Malaria endemic countries are advised to seek chemoprophylaxis, which is medication that can be taken to prevent diseases prior to travel, by contacting the nearest County Medical Office of Health (details on Ministry of Health’s website).

The public may also wish to consider the following personal protective measures when travelling to Malaria endemic countries:

●        Wear long sleeved, loose-fitting and light coloured clothing when possible;),

●        Using mosquito nets when sleeping,

●        Using insect repellents, coils and vaporisers, where possible.

Early symptoms of Malaria include fever, chills and headaches which may start within 10-15 days of being bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. However, the incubation period for certain types of Malaria may be much longer (months or years).

Persons returning from a Malaria endemic country, and who may be experiencing these signs and symptoms, should visit their nearest physician or health facility.



Ministry of Health
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Trinidad and Tobago

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