Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Imported malaria in Switzerland, (1990–2019): A retrospective analysis


Giannone, Bodo; Hedrich, Nadja; Schlagenhauf, Patricia (2021). Imported malaria in Switzerland, (1990–2019): A retrospective analysis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 45:102251.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Malaria is a life-threatening, mosquito-borne parasitic disease, caused by Plasmodium spp. It is a major public health issue. Malaria in Switzerland is primarily "imported" by infected international travellers, migrants, and asylum-seekers.

METHOD

We investigated the epidemiology and characteristics of imported malaria in Switzerland in the period between 1990 and 2019 using data from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). We also obtained traveller statistics from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

RESULTS

During the last thirty years a total of 8'439 malaria cases and 52 deaths were reported in Switzerland. The main origin of infection was West Africa, followed by Central Africa and East Africa. The profile of malaria in migrants in Switzerland has changed, reflecting variation in migrant flows. The estimated risk of malaria in travellers sank significantly over the time frame of the study (p < 0.001, 95% CI -0.076 to -0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

Travel medicine should focus on West Africa, the main source of malaria in Switzerland. Despite most cases and all but one death being caused by Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax remains a threat for travellers and is associated with complex prevention and therapy regimens. Public health authorities need to pre-empt the need for malaria screening, prevention and treatment based on the profile of migrant waves from malaria endemic areas including Eritrea and Afghanistan arriving in Europe.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Malaria is a life-threatening, mosquito-borne parasitic disease, caused by Plasmodium spp. It is a major public health issue. Malaria in Switzerland is primarily "imported" by infected international travellers, migrants, and asylum-seekers.

METHOD

We investigated the epidemiology and characteristics of imported malaria in Switzerland in the period between 1990 and 2019 using data from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). We also obtained traveller statistics from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

RESULTS

During the last thirty years a total of 8'439 malaria cases and 52 deaths were reported in Switzerland. The main origin of infection was West Africa, followed by Central Africa and East Africa. The profile of malaria in migrants in Switzerland has changed, reflecting variation in migrant flows. The estimated risk of malaria in travellers sank significantly over the time frame of the study (p < 0.001, 95% CI -0.076 to -0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

Travel medicine should focus on West Africa, the main source of malaria in Switzerland. Despite most cases and all but one death being caused by Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax remains a threat for travellers and is associated with complex prevention and therapy regimens. Public health authorities need to pre-empt the need for malaria screening, prevention and treatment based on the profile of migrant waves from malaria endemic areas including Eritrea and Afghanistan arriving in Europe.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
4 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

45 downloads since deposited on 28 Jan 2022
20 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:29 December 2021
Deposited On:28 Jan 2022 15:27
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:51
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1477-8939
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102251
PubMed ID:34973453
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)