Malaria Outbreak Essay

989 words - 4 pages

Malaria Outbreak in Costa Rica - April 1991 (Essay)On April 22, 1991 around 10:00 pm, an earthquake took place in Limon, Costa Rica with a magnitude of 7.6. The earthquake was ca (Earthquake Facts & Statistics, 2005)used by the collision of the two main tectonic plates around Costa Rica, the Cocos plate (Pacific) and the Atlantic plate. Seismic waves were caused when the friction between the Atlantic and Pacific plates could no longer build up and had to be released, causing the earthquake. The Atlantic region of the country suffered great damage to it's roads, reefs, and buildings, but the other regions of Costa Rica weren't affected. The earthquake left 27 people dead, 400 injured and 13,000 homeless in Limon, and 75 people dead in total including the surrounding areas (Natural Phenomena: Earthquakes, floods, etc.). As a result of the earthquake, floods also took place throughout the region as there were major imbalances of water following the quake.The earthquake in Costa Rica caused an inevitable chain reaction, after the quake came floods, and after the floods came a large increase in breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which ultimately caused an outbreak of malaria, a vector borne disease. Malaria outbreaks are fairly common occurrences following large floods, as new habitats and breeding sites are more easily formed due to these large floods. In this case, the earthquake and floods in Costa Rica resulted in the crowding of infected and susceptible hosts (mosquitoes), a weakened public health infrastructure, and interruptions of the control programs that were currently in place (Malaria, 2012).Malaria, being a vector born disease, began to spread in Costa Rica via mosquitoes, which are vector species. The mosquitoes carry the disease in their saliva and can transfer it to humans. When mosquitoes make an incision in the human skin, the proboscis finds a blood vessel and extracts blood from it. Once one person is infected with the disease, it can then be transferred to other people by the mosquitoes that extracted blood from the initially infected person. It can also be passed on by the use of needles or syringes that are contaminated with blood from an infected person, or from a blood transfusion. When a female mosquito extracts blood from an infected person, male and female forms of the parasite are ingested from the human blood. Subsequently, the male and female forms of the parasite meet and mate in the mosquito gut, and when the mosquito moves on to another person, the infected forms of the parasite are transferred. The process when someone is initially bitten by an infected mosquito is that a plasmodium parasite enters the bloodstream which begins to grow and develop as it reaches the liver. The parasites proceed to re-enter the bloodstream to attack red blood cells and multiply rapidly. As parasites multiply the cycle repeats until red blood cells burst. (Watson, 2007)Symptoms of malaria usually appear about 12 to 14 days after the...

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