Belgium: After being bitten by a malarial mosquito a few weeks ago, a woman from Steenokkerzeel developed a significant illness. The airport in Zaventem is most likely where the mosquito reached Belgium. Although these “airport malaria” cases are uncommon, they have increased in frequency recently.
Worldwide, there are more than 3,000 different types of mosquitoes. The majority of them cannot spread malaria. Anopheles mosquitoes are the focus of this article.
A person can get malaria if they are stung by an Anopheles mosquito that is also a carrier of a specific parasite. This parasite then multiplies in your body, first in the liver and then also in red blood cells. This causes high fever, muscle aches, headaches and chills. Patients sometimes experience it as a “flu-like feeling,” although the fever can be very high.
Malaria may be lethal if untreated. The World Health Organization roughly calculated that more than 600,000 people will die from malaria-related causes in 2020.
So, is it possible for someone to have malaria if they are not returning from a tropical location? Although the likelihood is extremely minimal, it is nevertheless feasible. Sometimes, mosquitoes board an aircraft returning from a tropical area. Then it may bite someone close to the airport.
The majority of these mosquitoes are safe since they do not carry the parasite that causes malaria. A mosquito is not often a carrier.
Professor Leen Deland of KU Leuven mentioned in the statement, “That’s because there is a lot of international transport of tires. Sometimes a thin layer of water remains in those tires. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in it, and those eggs can then become adult mosquitoes.”
Also, Biologist Isra Deblauwe of the Institute of Tropical Medicine stated, “We have thoroughly investigated that case. Probably the mosquito came from Gabon or Cameroon, although we can’t say for sure.”