Long-haul mosquitoes bring malaria to Europe's airports

日期:2019-03-04 06:17:05 作者:端木泖埘 阅读:

SWITZERLAND last week released details of two cases of malaria contracted in or near Geneva airport, just over a kilometre away from the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO). Michel Vouilloz, of Geneva’s state medical service, has advised colleagues to ‘suspect malaria in all cases of fever whose origin is not clear’. The two cases, one an airport worker and the other a nearby resident, were sent to hospital at the end of July. Both are now recovering. Neither had travelled outside Switzerland for at least a year, which suggests that they became infected by mosquitoes that came into the country on a long-haul flight landing at Geneva airport. This parallels similar cases of ‘airport malaria’ that doctors have already recorded at Zurich airport and at many other European airports. They include Britain’s Gatwick, Amsterdam’s Schiphol and Charles de Gaulle near Paris. Health authorities in Europe have received reports of more than 25 such cases since the introduction of wide-bodied aircraft in 1970 among people who had never travelled overseas. The WHO has regularly issued detailed recommendations on spraying aircraft to prevent the spread of malaria-carrying mosquitoes and other pests. But the recommendations are rarely implemented, except in Australia and New Zealand which have strict procedures to guard against imported pests. The WHO’s Malaria Action Programme estimates that up to 100 million people contract malaria every year. Malaria was eliminated from most of Europe by the 1950s, but mosquitoes capable of transmitting the disease remain in many areas (even in some of London’s parks). Last year, Swiss authorities registered 322 cases of imported malaria,