At the end of September, a couple in Kampenhout became infected with malaria and died from it. Malaria infection in Flanders is therefore extremely rare. The Agency for Care and Health of the Flemish government and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) are investigating the infections.
They emphasize that it is virtually impossible that other people in Kampenhout or the surrounding area would have or could contract the disease. The mosquito that caused the infection is almost certainly dead without being able to reproduce.
Via the airport
“The only plausible explanation is that an exotic malaria mosquito was brought into our country via the airports of Zaventem or Melsbroek,” said the Agency for Care and Health. Spokesman Joris Moonens: “The type of malaria from which the couple died, indicates a variant that occurs mainly in Africa. The airports of Zaventem and Melsbroek are only a few kilometers from their home. A mosquito can fly that distance. ”
On Saturday, Care and Health, the Institute for Tropical Health and the municipality of Kampenhout will provide more information. Researchers will be looking for mosquitoes and mosquito larvae in the area this week to find out which types of mosquitoes are present. The city council, the Agency for Care and Health and ITM wish to express their support for the family of the deceased couple. (evb)