Malaria Treatment Suffered During Guinea’s Ebola Outbreak – Research
Malaria Treatment Suffered During Guinea’s Ebola Outbreak – Research © Flickr/ CDC Global
12:41 24.06.2015(updated 12:52 24.06.2015) Get short URL
The ongoing Ebola outbreak in Guinea has hampered the country’s efforts to combat malaria, according to a new research published by the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
The US experts said in a new research that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Guinea has “set back” the country’s fight against malaria, the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal reported.
The research, which was based on a survey of public health facilities in December 2014 and interviews with healthcare workers, said that at least 74,000 cases of malaria went untreated last year because clinics were either closed or patients were afraid of seeking help.
Given that both Ebola and malaria cause fever, fear may have prevented people from going to see a doctor to get this symptom checked, according to the researchers.
“One problem is that the early symptoms of malaria (fever, headache, and body aches) mimic those of Ebola virus disease,” Dr.Mateusz Plucinski, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who is also the lead author of the study, said.
He added that “malaria is one of the main causes of fever and health facilities visits in Guinea, but our data suggest that since the start of the Ebola epidemic people with fevers have avoided clinics for fear of contracting Ebola or being sent to an Ebola treatment center.”
The researchers warned that the death toll from malaria in Guinea may far exceed the number of Ebola deaths in the country.
More than 2,400 people have died in the Ebola outbreak in Guinea since March 2014. In 2013, about 15,000 people in Guinea were killed by malaria, according to Nets for Life Africa, a US charity.
Plucinski called for malaria control efforts and healthcare delivery to stay on track during any Ebola epidemic “so that progress made in malaria control is not jeopardized and Ebola outbreak response is not impeded.”