Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has informed that a rare genus of malaria, Plasmodium Ovale, has been detected in the state. The new genus was detected in a soldier who had come from Sudan, the minister said in a tweet late on Thursday. The patient is being treated at the district hospital in Kannur.
"Plasmodium Ovale, a new genus of malaria, has been detected in the state. It was found in a soldier who was being treated at the district hospital in Kannur. The soldier had come from Sudan," the minister said.
"The spread of the disease can be avoided with timely treatment and preventive measures."
Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and two of these species -- Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax -- pose the greatest threat.
Malaria cases in India dropped from about 20 million cases in 2000 to about 5.6 million in 2019, the WHO said in its World Malaria Report, released on November 30.
Globally, there were 229 million cases of malaria in 2019 compared to 228 million cases in 2018.
The estimated number of malaria deaths in the world stood at 409,000 in 2019, compared with 411,000 deaths in 2018.
The WHO African Region continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden.
In 2019, the region was home to 94 per cent of all malaria cases and deaths.