Health Minister KK Shailaja announced in a tweet that a new genus of Malaria was detected in the State. The disease was seen in a soldier who had returned from Sudan.
“Plasmodium oval, a new genus of malaria, has been detected in the State. It was found on a soldier who was being treated at the District hospital in Kannur. The soldier had come from Sudan,” Shailaja wrote on Twitter.
Plasmodium ovale is the latest of four species of malaria parasite that infect humans. It’s known to be primarily found through the sub-Saharan African region but has been reported in islands of the western Pacific, Philippines and New Guinea too. It is rarely fatal. “The spread of the disease can be avoided with timely treatment and preventive measures,” added Shailaja in the tweet.
This new development comes even as Kerala has re-emerged as the topmost contributor of new Covid-19 cases in the country in the last week. According to the Kerala government’s website, as of December 10, the State had reported a total of 6,49,571 novel coronavirus cases, of which 59,923 are active.
India reported its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Thrissur when a student, who was studying at Wuhan University, China had returned to India. Also, in 2018, a Nipah virus disease (NiV) outbreak was reported from Kozhikode district.
Health Minister, Shailaja’s leadership, was widely lauded during the Nipah and Covid-19 outbreaks.
During the Nipah outbreak, Shailaja managed to contain the situation by isolating patients and tracing and quarantining more than 200 contacts. During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Guardian had dubbed her as a ‘Coronavirus slayer’ and a ‘rock star health minister’. The United Nations had, in fact, invited her to participate in a panel discussion for her efforts to fight Covid-19.