First case of imported malaria detected in Azerbaijan

13 May 2016 16:36 (UTC+04:00)

By Amina Nazarli

Malaria, a mosquito-borne infectious disease, is rarely reported in Azerbaijan. This week, the country’s health agencies reported about the first imported case of malaria for this year.

The disease was detected in a citizen of an African country, who was visiting Azerbaijan to participate in the international event.

Afag Aliyeva, Deputy Director of the Republican Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology under the Health Ministry said that 2-3 cases of malaria are annually reported in the citizens coming from tropical countries, particularly from African states.

“In case the disease detected, the infected are taken under control and treated,” she said, emphasizing that no cases of malaria has been detected within the country since 2013.

Two cases of malaria were revealed in the country in 2012, according to the Republican Hygiene and Epidemiology Center. One person was infected in Africa, and the second within the country. In 2013, four cases were detected and all of them were imported cases of malaria.

In a meantime, Azerbaijan is moving towards elimination of this life-threatening disease, since for the past four years the country has identified only imported cases of the disease, according to the World Health Organization’s statistics.

The situation with other infectious diseases is stable in Azerbaijan, said Rakif Abdullayev, the director of the Republican Anti-Plague Station under the Azerbaijani Health Ministry.

“In order to study the situation with cholera, every year from May to October we test water samples in 16 stationary points from open sources.,” he said.

The country also has no threat with avian influenza, according to the specialist.

Abdullayev further reminded that control commissions are operating on the border to identify patients infected with any dangerous viral disease.

"They check all the patients with a high temperature and in case of detection any infectious disease they are hospitalized at the Scientific-Research Institute of Lung Diseases for further examination," Abdullayev said.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

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