Malaria claims four lives at Noney, Churachandpur in Manipur

Amid the COVID-19 spread across Manipur, Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria (Celebral malaria) returned to Manipur after a lapse of four-five years.

Villagers at Okoklong, Noney district, Manipur being briefed about Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria on June 8, 2020 (PHOTO IFP)

Amid the COVID-19 spread in Manipur and with the onset of monsoon, Malaria spread has claimed one life at Churachandpur and three lives at Noney district, health official sources said.

State Malaria Officer, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Dr Thangpa Serto, said that one male from Churachandpur died of PF Malaria on May 29 and three females from Noney districts died on June 2, June 3 and June 7.

In the case of Churachandpur, it was confirmed that the cause of death was malaria as he was tested before his death. But the case of Noney was declared as suspected as the confirmation was made through the "history of altered sensorium before their death and epidemiological linkage", Dr Serto said in Imphal.

The official said that 10 others have been tested positive for malaria, four from Noney and six from Churachandpur. The positive case for malaria was first reported from Churachandpur on May 28 and the patient died the same day, he added.

Dr Serto said that the present malaria outbreak is a kind of COVID-19 impact, as owing to the lockdown, people take backseat on other ailments. He said that malaria testing kits are available in all district hospitals and primary health centres etc. But due to lockdown, people fail to make use of it despite symptoms showing up in them.

In 2019, 16 malaria cases were reported. All of them were treated successfully as people had tested at the right time. In 2018, one person from Churachandpur died of malaria, the doctor said.

Dr Serto also said that to prevent malaria from further spreading, mass screening will be conducted in all the affected places.

Meanwhile, Noney District Malaria Officer Dr Zianthuilung Kamei said that on hearing of the suspected malaria deaths at Okoklong village under Nungba Subdivision, a medical team was rushed to the village.

As many as 94 were tested and of them, two cases of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria were detected till the filling of this report, IFP correspondent in Tamenglong said.

Dr Kamei said he had informed village authorities and pastors to announce that anybody suffering from high fever should be tested for malaria.

Meanwhile, Noney district chief medical officer Dr Edwin Golmei stated that Plasmodium falciparum Malaria (Cerebral Malaria) or PF attacks the brain and makes the patient unconscious and the patient dies very fast.

Golmei said that the district malaria department along with the state malaria department is preparing for fogging to check the malaria carrier mosquito in Okoklong village on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Okoklong village chief told Imphal Free Pressthat the deceased were sick for 13-14 days. He recalled that in 1998, an epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria (PF) had spread across his village and six people died of it. It may be mentioned that plasmodium falciparum Malaria resurfaced in Manipur after a gap of four to five years, this time.

First Published:June 8, 2020, 7:27 p.m.

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