Diagnosis Delay May Cause Malaria Spread


Delay in diagnosis of malaria may lead to the spread of the disease, sources of the Anti-Malaria Campaign (AMC) warned.

Although the malaria cases being diagnosed in Sri Lanka were imported from malaria endemic countries, timely diagnosis of the cases were important to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease, Campaign’s sources yesterday (27) warned.

They noted that the disease may be difficult to identify as some of the symptoms similar to those seen in patients with dengue. There is a drop in the platelet count and therefore the infection could be misdiagnosed as dengue.

Citing an example they said that a patient from Beruwela who had lived in Cameroon, a West Central African country for a period of one month, was suspected to have dengue owing to the drop in the platelet count. There was a delay of about 14 days before he was diagnosed with malaria. Sources said, medical practitioners too, failed to ask for any travel history while persons who had flown to malaria endemic countries either failed or hid their travel history.

From January, till date the country has seen 24 cases of malaria. For the month of July alone, there have been four cases. From January to December 2021 there had been  26 cases of malaria, sources added.  

By Dilanthi Jayamanne