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HomeHealthMalaria cases in Florida and Texas are the first locally-acquired infections in...

Malaria cases in Florida and Texas are the first locally-acquired infections in the US in 20 years, CDC warns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday of the return of locally-acquired malaria cases, meaning the infections were not related to foreign travel and appear to have been transmitted by US mosquito carriers. of the parasite.

So far, there have been four locally acquired cases of malaria in florida and one in texas within the last two months. There is no evidence to suggest that the cases in the two states are connected.

“Malaria is a medical emergency and should be treated accordingly,” the CDC wrote in a Health Alert Network Health Notice. “Patients with suspected malaria should be urgently evaluated at a center that can provide rapid diagnosis and treatment, within 24 hours of presentation.”

About 2,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the US each year, but they are usually related to people who have traveled outside the country.

“Despite certification of malaria eradication” in the US in 1970, “small outbreaks of locally acquired mosquito-borne malaria continue to occur,” the CDC wrote in 2003.

Locally acquired mosquito-borne malaria has not occurred in the US since 2003, when there was eight cases identified in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The new cases in Florida were identified in Sarasota Countysaid the state Department of Health. State officials issued a statewide mosquito-borne disease advisory Monday. All four people who contracted the disease in the state have been treated and have recovered.

A health advisory has also been issued in Texas.

Malaria, which is caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito, can be fatal. He World Health Organization estimates the disease killed 619,000 people worldwide in 2021. But the disease can be treated and cured with prescription drugs.

Symptoms include high fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Although most people show symptoms that begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, a person can feel sick for up to a year after infection.

The disease is not contagious between humans; people can contract malaria by being bitten by an infectious female Anopheles mosquito.

The CDC advises the public to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and control mosquitoes in the home. To avoid bites, use insect repellent. The health agency also recommends wearing loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants. At home, use window and door screens and use air conditioning if available.

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