More and more Quebecers come back with malaria

News 31 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy
    Karl Weiss, microbiologist

    Vincent Larin

    Friday, 30 march 2018 23:35

    Friday, 30 march 2018 23:35

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    Twice as many Quebecers are returning from a trip with malaria as it was five years, revealed figures published recently by the ministry of Health.

    This potentially fatal disease, also known as malaria, is contracted only in some tropical countries, by bite of an infected mosquito. Except for very rare cases where people have been infected by blood transfusion, the malaria, however, is not contagious.

    In 2013, only 115 Quebec were reported to have contracted on their return to Quebec, while they were 259 last year. The majority of them returned to Africa.

    And this year promises to be just as problematic with 52 recorded cases of malaria in the health system, dated 29 march, from 29 in average between 2013 and 2017 for the same period, says the ministry.

    These figures have, however, not surprising as the Quebecers are more likely to fly to exotic destinations, sometimes without taking the necessary precautions, ” says the president of the Association of medical microbiologists, infectious disease physicians of Quebec, Karl Weiss.

    “People travel a lot more in destinations that were once distant and exotic, but which are less and less “, he explains.

    Serious consequences

    “The people do not think always to malaria, and often in these places there countries do not always focus on it because they don’t want to scare the tourists. “

    Two groups of travellers are particularly affected, according to him. It comes to Quebec from african countries, where malaria is prevalent, who go to visit their families, and young travelers who take a few precautions.

    Yet, the consequences can be serious. The Journal reported last month the case of a young man who contracted malaria in Tanzania, and who will have to repay $ 64,000 in after having been processed and then repatriated to the country since he had no travel insurance.


    The ministry’s figures reveal that not less than 38 Quebec have contracted malaria in Tanzania last year against a person only in 2013.

    However, some precautions to avoid the symptoms sometimes violent and can cause this disease, ” says Vincent Bolduc, owner of a travel agency specializing in destination africa, Space Select.

    “Well cover the hours dangerous, to apply a mosquito repellent and, of course, take anti-malarial medication, malarone, describes it. In 17 years, there has never been one of our clients has been reached. “