Algeria and Argentina declared malaria-free

Scientists discovered the malaria parasite in Algeria in 1880.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Argentina and Algeria malaria-free on 22 May, after the two countries reported zero transmission of the disease for more than three years. The success brings the total number of malaria-free countries to 38.

Algeria — where scientists discovered the disease-causing parasite in 1880 — reported its last native malaria case in 2013, and is the third African country to banish the disease; Argentina’s last case was in 2010.

Both nations had maintained low malaria transmission rates for decades, and universal health coverage and rigorous surveillance were crucial in their fight against the disease. Argentina also worked closely with neighbouring countries to spray homes with insecticides and test people for the disease to prevent cross-border transmission.

By: Erin I. Garcia de Jesus/Nature News

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