28 Dead this Month from “Malaria” in Mali?

According to a Chinese news article, a malaria outbreak currently underway in Mopti, Mali has claimed 28 lives since the first death occurred in early July. Mopti, a significant tourist region in the West African country, is completely surrounded by rivers and hence dubbed the “Venice of Mali.” The report claimed that during this rainy season, villagers have been directly drinking from the flooded rivers, thus “causing malaria to spread quickly in the area.” However, malaria is transmitted through bites from mosquitoes infected with the Plasmodium parasite and not from drinking contaminated water. Healthmap is therefore dubious of the accuracy of this report and suspect the reporter might have confused malaria with cholera. French news reports from earlier this month describe a cholera outbreak in Mopti and Timbuktu. Nevertheless, Mali does have a high burden of malaria.  According to the 2010 WHO malaria report, Mali had 2,331 malarial deaths and 1,633,423 suspected cases in 2009 (the last year reported).  Healthmap will continue to monitor for any clarification updates.  

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