Malaria is one of the most feared infectious diseases in the world. However, we are accustomed to it only affects certain parts of the globe that possess very specific climate conditions that help it thrive, so Europeans never really worried about it. In tropical areas, around half a million people die every year of malaria. But all that has changed now. A four-year-old girl living in Northern Italy just died this Sunday after being rushed to the hospital in Brescia on Saturday night due to a high fever.
First Case of Malaria in Italy in the Last 60 Years
The girl suffered from cerebral malaria, and the condition, unfortunately, was fatal to her. Malaria is carried by the Anopheles mosquito, which is a certain species of the insect that Italy does not contain. However, scientists fear that the scorching month of August might have brought them in. Or maybe it was a very tropical international flight that caused all this, we can’t say for sure just yet.
The little girl’s name (may God rest her soul) was Sofia, and she had been on vacation prior to the incident in Bibione, a resort off of the coast of the Adriatic Sea near Venice. It is believed that it was there that Sofia was stung by the nasty Anopheles mosquito that brought her untimely end upon her. What is most curious is that Italy did indeed have a malaria issue until the 1950s. But in order to fix this, the mosquito-infested marshes and swamps around the countries were drained.
Europe has seen such restricted cases of malaria all around its Western region in the last five years, but they were few in number. So we can’t talk of an epidemic just yet.