An imported case of malaria, caused by a hitherto unfamiliar variant of the Plasmodium species (the malarial parasite), in the State, Plasmodium ovale, has been reported from the Kannur district hospital, said a press release issued by the Health Department here on Thursday.
Malaria caused by Plasmodium ovale is endemic in Western Africa. It rarely causes severe illness or death. The Plasmodium variant was spotted during the laboratory investigations of a soldier who had recently returned to the State from Sudan and who had approached the Kannur district hospital after he fell ill.
Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax and the more dangerous Plasmodium falciparum are commonly reported in the State. Malaria is acquired by a person after a bite from an infected mosquito. The mosquito transmits plasmodia from its saliva into the host while ingesting a blood meal. The plasmodia then enter the red blood cells and feed on the haemoglobin.
The patient was treated promptly and a local outbreak of malaria caused by Plasmodium ovale could be avoided, the press release said.