OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:41 PM – Tuesday, June 27, 2023
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health notice to doctors, public health officials, and members of the public after recording five recent cases of malaria acquired in the United States in the previous two months.
The five cases, four in Florida and one in Texas, are the first in 20 years to have surfaced locally, which the CDC claims is an indication that the infections were not caused by travel outside the nation. Previous cases of malaria were discovered in Palm Beach County, Florida, in 2003.
According to the CDC, there is no proof that this year’s Florida and Texas cases are linked, and they claim that the risk of contracting malaria throughout the country remains low.
“Malaria is a medical emergency,” the CDC alert said.
According to the organization, all five individuals have received treatment and are currently recuperating.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported the discovery of a local malaria case in one person who had spent time working outside. The affected individual had not traveled outside of the nation or state.
The government recommended that Texas residents use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Since mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, the agency also advised residents to drain puddles, keep gutters clear, cover garbage cans, and replace the water in pet dishes and bird baths on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health issued a statewide mosquito-borne disease notice on Monday, noting that all four cases had been documented in Sarasota County.
The CDC also said that the latest cases in the United States were caused by P. vivax, a parasite that infects certain mosquitoes. The parasite is not as lethal as other parasites that cause malaria, but it can remain dormant in the body for months or even years after one’s initial illness, possibly causing chronic infections.
Malaria symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, muscular pains, and fatigue. According to the CDC, some people may also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms often develop between 10 days and four weeks following a mosquito bite.
According to the CDC’s health notice, malaria cases may begin to become more prevalent this summer as a result of increased travel to and from countries outside the United States.
Prior to the COVID-19 era, the United States experienced around 2,000 cases of malaria per year, almost all of which were diagnosed in individuals who had traveled to other nations.
Around five to ten people die every year from malaria, the CDC reported.
The CDC warns that clinicians and hospitals should have a protocol in place for quickly identifying a malaria patient so that antimalarial medications may be administered within 24 hours. According to the EPA, hospitals should have an intravenous form of Artesunate on hand. Artesunate is the only medicine licensed to treat severe malaria in the United States.
They also advised anyone planning to travel to an area where malaria is commonly transmitted to talk to their doctors about taking preventative medications.
Update: Removed the words “On Monday” from 3rd paragraph.
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