NewsBites: Updates from CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria

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April 2019

Ellen in Senegal

CDC Research Entomologist inspects a sheet used to collect mosquito samples as part of the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative in Senegal. Photo credit: PCV Chris Uller and Teneasha Pierson

World Malaria Day: Zero Malaria Starts with Me

Malaria Book

April 25 marks World Malaria Day. This year’s theme, “Zero Malaria Starts with Me,” reminds each of us of the role we can play to help achieve a world free of malaria.

CDC is no stranger to malaria; the agency in its infancy was known as Malaria Control in War Areas, and was designed to help keep the southeast U.S. malaria-free during World War II. Through its efforts, malaria was eliminated in the U.S. by 1951. Since then, we continue to share our knowledge and experience to help others control and eliminate malaria as well.

Together, CDC and committed global partners have helped to prevent an estimated 7 million deaths from malaria since 2001. Other milestones of success include:

  • In 2017, 46 countries reported fewer than 10,000 cases of malaria.
  • The number of countries with fewer than 100 cases increased from 15 countries in 2010 to 26 countries in 2017.
  • Paraguay was certified by WHO as malaria free in 2018, while Algeria, Argentina and Uzbekistan have made formal requests to WHO for certification. In 2017, China and El Salvador reported zero indigenous cases.

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DPDM NewsBites

IV Artesunate

Fighting Malaria in the United States

Malaria continues to threaten the health of U.S. travelers, military, and citizens living abroad, with more than 1,700 imported cases diagnosed annually and of these about 300 will develop severe malaria. Most of these cases are acquired during travel to countries with malaria.

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International Chagas Day

Chagas disease is a preventable infection caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and spread by infected triatomine bugs (pictured) known as “kissing bugs” or through blood transfusion, organ transplantation, or congenital transmission (mother-to-baby).

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Mosquito larvae

Palm-Sized Tool for Malaria Surveillance

In response to the Zika virus outbreak, CDC staff developed a field-friendly mobile based tool for monitoring mosquito populations called Epi Info Vector, which enables mosquito control programs to save time, improve data quality, and standardize information by providing a platform for data entry in the field and automated data analyses.  The app, which is based on CDC’s open source program, Epi Info™ 7, and is available in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese) first became available on Google Play (for Android devices) in 2017.

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Notable Publications

Case Report: Ocular Toxocariasis: A Report of Three Cases from the Mississippi Delta in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. March 2019


Prescriber practices and patient adherence to artemisinin-based combination therapy for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Guinea, 2016 in the Malaria Journal. February 2019


Case Report: Cervicovaginal Co-Colonization with Entamoeba gingivalis and Entamoeba polecki in Association with an Intrauterine Device in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. February 6, 2019


Effect of Plasmodium falciparum sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance on the effectiveness of intermittent preventive therapy for malaria in pregnancy in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. March 25, 2019



Featured Parasite: Fascioliasis


(Fasciola hepatica or Fasciola gigantica)


Fascioliasis, is a parasitic infection caused by Fasciola hepatica (also known as the “common liver fluke”).

Fascioliasis is found in more than 70 countries, especially where sheep or cattle are reared. Fasciola hepatica is found in all continents except Antarctica. Fasciola gigantica has been found in some tropical areas.

While it’s more common in livestock and other animals, fascioliasis can occur in people, who can become infected by drinking contaminated water, or eating raw watercress or other contaminated freshwater plants. Most people infected with fasciola in the United States were infected in other countries where fascioliasis is widespread.

People with fasciola infection may feel sick during the chronic phase of the infection, When the worms mature into adults in the duct system of the liver. The symptoms associated with this phase can start months to years after a person first becomes infected and result from inflammation and blockage of bile ducts. Fasciola infection is treatable. CDC works with healthcare providers to deliver diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases in the United States and worldwide, and provides guidelines for health partners and the public.

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Continue Reading

Zero Malaria Starts with Me (cont'd)

Even with this remarkable progress, there is still work to be done, as malaria remains a major killer of children under five years, taking the life of a child every two minutes:

  • An estimated 3.2 billion people (almost half the world’s population) across 91 countries or territories are still at risk of malaria.
  • Malaria killed 435,000 people and caused 219 million people to become ill in 2017.
  • Fifteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India carry almost 80% of the global malaria burden, and five countries accounted for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide: Nigeria (25%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%),
    Mozambique (5%) India (4%) and Uganda (4%). 
  • The human and economic costs of malaria - estimated to be at least US$ 12 billion per year - are devastating and real. 

To help protect the health of individuals in the U.S. and around the world, CDC experts remain committed to using rigorous science and quality disease surveillance approaches to ensure early detection, confirmation, treatment, and prevention of malaria.

As we mark World Malaria Day, we ask you to join us and our partners – including the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Roll Back Malaria – in a renewed commitment to end malaria and help share the message (including using our fact sheets, social media cards, and personal stories) that the road to zero malaria starts with each and every one of us.

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Fighting Malaria Domestically (cont'd)

Severe malaria should be treated with intravenous (IV) antimalarial medications. The only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved IV antimalarial in the United States, IV quinidine, has been discontinued, and is no longer available as of April 1, 2019, CDC has worked to ensure that appropriate treatment for severe malaria (with a drug called IV artesunate) is available.

To help clinicians prepare for the transition, CDC issued a special notice outlining the new treatment and guidance and presented a special webinar on March 28, along with CDC’s Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA). The COCA webinar has been archived, and clinicians can learn more and earn CE credit here.

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Int'l Chagas Day (cont'd)

April 14 marked International Chagas Day. As part of CDC’s ongoing commitment to increasing awareness among health care providers about Chagas disease and other neglected parasitic infections in the United States, DPDM has developed several accredited continuing education courses for clinicians:

Chagas Disease: Optimizing Care for Pregnant Women and Children

Chagas Disease: What U.S. Clinicians Need to Know

Visit our web site to learn more about how CDC and partners are working to increase health care provider awareness about Chagas disease. Also, read about challenges medical professionals face with transplant patients who have Chagas disease.

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Palm-Sized Tool for Mosquito Surveillance (cont'd)

Epi Info Vector was first piloted in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and Trinidad & Tobago. Since then, use of Epi Info Vector has grown to include Brazil and New Zealand, including training vector control personnel from six Pacific Island nations to use the app, and the final training in these countries was followed by a three-day Epi Info Vector field workshop in the Fiji Islands.

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12-18:  National Women’s Health Week


June: Men’s Health Month   

16: International Day of the African Child (Malaria)

20: World Refugee Day                              


July: World Schistosomiasis Awareness Month

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