Costa Rica quietly has made strong inroads against the mosquito that carries malaria. The country registered 1,879 cases of malaria in 2000. In 2011 there were just 17 cases, according to the Ministerio de Salud. And the latest reports say that there have been just five cases so far this year.
The current cases were two in Jicaral, Puntarenas, one that is believed to have been imported from Nicaragua by the ill individual who now is in Carrillo, Guanacaste, and one each in Golfito, and Puntarenas. There were nine cases by this time last year, the health ministry said.
The Panamerican Health Organization is working to eliminate malaria in the Western Hemisphere by 2015.
In the 1970s Costa Rica experienced a big reduction in malaria cases but in the following years the numbers spiked.
Health officials attributed the reduction in the first years of the 21st century to various control factors.
There also was a big push against dengue, which also is mosquito-born. The effort was to reduce places where mosquitoes breed thereby reducing the number of the insects.