Doctors can not explain how it was possible for a baby girl, little Sofia, to die after contracting malaria without ever leaving Italy . “It is a cryptic case, very rare,” he admitted in an interview with Agi Giovanni Rezza, head of the Infectious Diseases Department of the Higher Institute of Health, ” This disease is transmitted by a certain kind of mosquito that in Italy does not exist, is and the transmission mode is not known, “explains Rezza. “Since mosquitoes do not exist in Italy, transmission can then occur with blood contact and then someone who has already contracted the virus. But now we know nothing about the broadcast mode and, I would point out, these are really rare cases. ”
The small girl went on holiday this summer with her parents in Bibione, Veneto. The question that arises spontaneously is: with climate change or other factors (such as immigration, for example), is it possible that mosquitoes are able to transmit the disease in Italy again? The infectiousologist at the University of Brescia, Giampiero Carosi, throws water on fire: “What could have happened is that someone, returning from a trip to the affected areas, has” brought “the plasmodium and has been point by an anitary” nostrana ‘which in turn has the child’s point, “he explained to Ansa. However, “the mosquitoes that circulate among us are not very suitable to transmit the microorganism, although in theory they might “.
Was it a more unique case than the one that led to poor Sofia? Today, malaria areas focus on Asia, Central and South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Italy, the disease is considered to have been eradicated for at least 60 years, defeated by the public health measures of fascism, including the decade-long “Bonifica Integrale” wanted by Mussolini. Since the days immediately after Unification of Italy, malaria “was the most serious national public health problem”. Almost one-third of the territory was “infected”, half of the Italian population was at risk of contagion and the dead oscillated around 15,000 a year.
Already in the Giolitti era we tried to fight malaria, through measures such as the “queen of state”, who managed to limit the phenomenon. But it was with the Law of Mussolini’s Integral Reclamation of 1928, with the work of hydraulic emptying of unhealthy lands together with the agricultural recovery of the same (with the marshes disappeared also mosquitoes carrying malaria, and thinking that among the antifascists there is who accuses Mussolini of “destroying geodiversity”) and experimenting with new therapies, which paved the way for complete malaria eradication . In just over ten years, over 6 million hectares were cleansed, malaria cases dropped from more than 4,000 in 1922 to a few hundred.