Malaria is caused by several protozoan species in the genus Plasmodium. The parasite is transmitted to humans by bites from infected Anopheles genus mosquitoes. The risk of malaria is highest in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Although local transmission of malaria frequently occurred in Minnesota over 100 years ago, all of the cases reported in Minnesota residents in recent years have been imported infections acquired abroad.
In 2018, 59 cases (1 per 100,000 population) were reported. Fifty (85%) cases were identified with P. falciparum, 3 (5%) with P. vivax, 2 (3%) with P. ovale, 1 (2%) with mixed Plasmodium species, and in 1 the species was unable to be determined. The median age of cases was 37 years (range, 2 to 72). Of the 55 cases with known race, 45 (82%) were black, 7 (13%) were white, 1 (2%) was Asian/ Pacific Islander, and 1 (2%) identified as their race as "Other." Fifty-five cases were Minnesota residents at the time of their illness, 49 (89%) of which resided in the metropolitan area. Of the 50 cases with known country of birth, only 15 (30%) were born in the United States. Fifty-six (95%) cases likely acquired malaria in Africa, 2 (3%) cases were likely acquired in Asia, and 1 patient reported travel to Central America. Exposure information was not available for 1 case. Eighteen countries were considered possible exposure locations for malaria infections, including Liberia (20), Nigeria (8), Kenya (6), Sierra Leone (6), and Ghana (5) as well as several other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
- For up to date information see>> Malaria
- Full issue>> Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2018