Guinea: Malaria deaths likely to exceed Ebola toll as patients shun clinics

| July 6, 2015

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Researchers announced last week that the Ebola outbreak in Guinea may have led to 74,000 new untreated cases of malaria.

In some areas, the number of people receiving drugs for malaria dropped by almost 70 per cent. According to a recent report, the number of people dying from untreated malaria in Guinea is likely more than the deaths caused by Ebola.

Mateusz Plucinski is the lead author of the research report. He says, “The early symptoms of malaria (fever, headache, and body aches) mimic those of [the] Ebola virus disease … Malaria is one of the main causes of fever and health facilities visits in Guinea, but … since the start of the Ebola epidemic, people with fevers have avoided clinics.”

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Photo: Jérémie, an MSF community health agent, performs a rapid diagnostic test for malaria on a child with fever in Guinea. Credit: Philippe Latour/MSF