First published record of urban malaria in Puerto Gaitán, Meta, Colombia|
Buitrago, Luz Stella; Brochero, Helena Luisa; McKeon, Sascha N.; Lainhart, William & Conn, Jan E.
Patterns of malaria cases were compared between the department of Meta and the municipality of Puerto Gaitan, Colombia, to examine temporal change in malaria from 2005-2010. During this time frame in Meta the mean ratio was 2.53; in contrast, in Puerto Gaitan it was 1.41, meaning that a surprisingly high proportion of Plasmodium falciparum cases were reported from this municipality. A detailed analysis of data from Puerto Gaitan for 2009 and 2010 detected a significant difference (Χ2, p < 0.001) in the distribution of plasmodia, with Plasmodium vivax more prevalent in 2009 and P. falciparum in 2010. Males had the highest number of cases but there was no difference in the distribution of cases between sexes and years. In both years, for both sexes, people 16-40 accounted for the majority of cases (58.9% in 2009; 60.4% in 2010). There were significant differences in the distribution of both P. vivax (Χ2, p < 0.01) and P. falciparum cases (Χ2, p < 0.05) by geographic setting (urban vs. non-urban) between years. Urban cases of both P. vivax and P. falciparum are recorded in this study for the first time in Puerto Gaitan, possibly the result of area wide displacement and migration due to armed conflict.
Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax; malaria cases; epidemiology; armed conflict; Colombia