Aceh monkey malaria patients on the mend
A husband and wife from Meutaulang village, Aceh Barat regency, Aceh, who were infected with monkey malaria (Plasmodium knowlesi) have nearly recovered, according to the regional health agency.
“Both are getting better and they have gone home. But a medical team is still conducting blood tests to ensure that they’re totally healed,” Azwar Liza, head of the Aceh Barat Health Agency’s malaria program, said in Meulaboh on Monday as quoted by Antara news agency.
Monkey malaria is caused by the same parasite that triggers malaria in monkeys. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), humans can be infected with the parasite via transmission from female Anopheles mosquitoes, which bite mainly between dusk and dawn.
The agency said the couple had tested positive for monkey malaria at the end of November. Both were infected while working in a forest nearby.
Both developed a high fever and were struck with nausea and dizziness. The symptoms subsided after they received medical treatment at the Meutaulang community health center (Puskesmas). Both were given medicine that works against parasites.
“We’re still waiting for the results of a blood test; if [the couple] tests negative, only then can we say that they are truly healed,” Azwar said.
Azwar said the agency needed the cooperation of residents to prevent a monkey malaria outbreak, adding that they had been warned against spending too much time in the forest, particularly during and after the rain.
The agency has been unable to conduct mosquito fogging in the forest because it was difficult to pinpoint the exact location of where the mosquitos are most prevalent, he added.