CDC Alerts of Locally Acquired Malaria Cases in Texas and Florida

From: Safety & Health

CDC Alerts of Locally Acquired Malaria Cases in Texas and Florida

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert to doctors, public health officials and the public after five domestic malaria cases were reported within two months. These cases are the first in 20 years to be acquired locally and not linked to travel abroad.

Four cases were reported in Florida and one in Texas. The CDC is collaborating with those state’s health departments for their investigation and suggests no evidence that the cases are related. All five patients have received treatment and are recovering. As such, the overall risk of contracting malaria in the United States is still low. This article provides more information on malaria and the CDC’s health alert.

What Is Malaria?

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease generally transmitted by certain mosquitoes. It’s spread when a female anopheline mosquito feeds on a person with malaria and then feeds on another person. This mosquito can be found in some parts of the United States but is still rare. To put it in perspective, there are 240 million malaria cases

worldwide annually, with 95% occurring in Africa.

Malaria symptoms can include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms typically appear 10 days to four weeks after being bitten by a mosquito, but people can get sick as late as one year after the initial infection.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 2,000 malaria cases occurred in the United States annually, nearly all of which were among people who had traveled to other countries. CDC data reports that approximately five to 10 Americans die annually from malaria.

What Does This Mean?

Despite recent new cases, the CDC says the risk of catching malaria in the country remains low. That said, as more people travel internationally this summer, there’s the potential that people could bring the disease back to the United States.

In the health alert, the CDC provided the following recommendations for the public:

If you traveled to an area where malaria occurs and are now experiencing malaria symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Contact us for further updates.

Download Brochure: CDC Alerts of Locally Acquired Malaria Cases in Texas and Florida