Although malaria has long been eradicated in
Israel and is easily preventible, a Hadera resident in his 20s who
returned from half a year in Africa contracted it abroad and was
hospitalized in an intensive care unit in serious condition, according
to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center.
returning traveler complained of weakness, difficulty breathing and a
high fever and was diagnosed at the Hadera hospital with malaria.
Apparently, the Hillel Yaffe spokeswoman said, he did not take the
prophylactic drugs that he bought for protection from the often fatal
disease, which is spread by protozoan parasites carried by the
In the last two years, three people who contracted malaria
abroad were hospitalized at Hillel Yaffe alone. Usually, the infection
occurs because the traveler did not take the required medications.
Dr. Moni Litmanovich, head of the general intensive care unit,
said his patient said he felt unwell even before flying home. He
decided to be examined and get treatment in the hospital. He was
quickly diagnosed and admitted to the internal medicine department. As
a result of complications, his bodily systems began to fail.
"Don't think that if you're going for only a short
time to areas where malaria is endemic, it won't happen to you," warned
Litmanovich. "Don't think that if you've been there for a long time and
not been infected, you are safe or that you have immunity to it."
Travelers also need to use anti-mosquito preparations and wear
light, long-sleeved and -legged clothing. It is best to sleep only in
beds with mosquito netting, he added. Around 2 million people die of
malaria each year.