Local government Health Director, Mohammed al-Qaboss has warned Hodeida, western province of Yemen, has seen a sharp rise in malaria cases, which he attributes to deteriorating health and sanitary conditions.
One of the poorest provinces of Yemen, Hodeida has a long history with malaria; a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes.
While malaria is easily treatable, a mis-diagnosed or late treatment can often be fatal to the patient, especially in people with a weakened immune system.
Abdullah Al-Taiar, a medical researcher established in 2006 in a paper published by BMJ (medical news source) that malaria in Yemen was most fatal to children (pediatric malaria) and remained a "substantial burden to the health services," especially on the coastal plain of Hodeida and the mountain hinterland.
Al-Taiar, theorized that "Local mosquitoes (especially Anopheles arabiensis) are efficient vectors of malaria, and local farming practices, such as cultivation of the qat tree, may favor transmission."
Health Director al-Qaboss told the media earlier this week that in a matter of days as many as 70 new cases of malaria, 20 of which in children had been recorded in the province, symptoms of the premise of an epidemic.
A lack in infrastructures and adequate health centers warned al-Qaboss is putting the greater population of Hodeida at risk as malaria cases could go undetected and people untreated.
Remote villages are said to most at risk.
A patient infected with malaria will typically experience flu-like symptoms within 8 to 25 days of infection.
Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films, or with antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests..