New genus of malaria detected in India's Kerala state

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NEW DELHI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Doctors in the southern Indian state of Kerala have detected a rare malaria genus in a patient, officials said Friday.

The new malaria genius has been found in a soldier, who had returned from Sudan.

According to officials, the soldier is presently undergoing treatment at a government-run hospital in Kannur district, about 490 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala.

"Plasmodium Ovale, a new genus of malaria, has been detected in the state. It was found in a soldier who was being treated at the district hospital in Kannur. The soldier had come from Sudan," local health minister K.K. Shailaja said in a statement. "The spread of the disease can be avoided with timely treatment and preventive measures."

Plasmodium Ovale is a species of parasitic protozoa that causes tertian malaria in humans. It is the latest of four species of malaria parasite that infect humans. It is known to be primarily found through the sub-Saharan African region but has been reported in islands of the western Pacific, Philippines and New Guinea too. It is less dangerous.

The disease has been detected at a time when India is battling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Kerala is the fifth worst-hit state due to pandemic and so far reported 654,041 COVID-19 cases and 2,533 related deaths. Enditem

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