New Cases of Malaria Detected in the United States after Two Decades
Endemic Cases Reported in Florida and Texas
After a span of 20 years, the United States has encountered endemic cases of malaria once again. Florida faced four reported cases, while Texas reported one. Over the past two months, a total of five cases have been confirmed. The last occurrence of local cases in the US was in 2003, when Florida registered eight cases in total.
Prompt Recovery of Patients: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that all five patients have received necessary treatment and are on the path to recovery. In light of this development, healthcare providers in the southern states have been cautioned to remain vigilant for symptoms. Authorities emphasized that malaria should be treated as a medical emergency, urging anyone experiencing symptoms to seek immediate evaluation.
Florida’s initial malaria case was identified in Sarasota County on May 26, whereas Texas reported a resident employed in outdoor work in Cameron County being diagnosed with the disease.
Low Risk Assertion by CDC
The CDC stressed that the risk of malaria in the United States remains relatively low, with majority of cases originating from travel. It should be noted that malaria is caused by five specific parasites carried by certain female mosquitoes. The disease can lead to severe complications including kidney failure, seizures, and coma. Symptoms range from fever, chills, headaches, and muscle aches to potential nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The highest number of fatalities have been witnessed in Africa, primarily amongst children.
Government Initiatives and Recommendations
Florida Taking Precautionary Measures
Florida has taken decisive action by issuing a warning regarding mosquito-borne diseases. Residents have been advised to take necessary precautions such as spraying mosquito repellents, eliminating standing water, ensuring intact window screens, and utilizing repellents containing DEET to avoid mosquito bites. Furthermore, individuals residing in mosquito-infested areas are encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Texas Health Alert
Texas has also released a health alert, urging clinicians to routinely review patient travel records. The objective is to determine whether patients displaying malaria symptoms have been situated outdoors in high-risk areas or have been bitten by mosquitoes prevalent in malaria-active zones.
Malaria Cases in the United States
In the United States, approximately 2,000 cases of malaria are reported annually, with the majority originating from travel. Over the course of the last three decades, the country has witnessed a total of 11 cases, including the eight cases previously identified in Palm County, Florida, in 2003.
For the first time in 20 years, there were endemic malaria cases in the United States, with 4 cases in Florida and 1 case in Texas. Five cases were confirmed in the last two months, and the last time there were local cases in the United States was in 2003, when a total of eight cases were found in Florida.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday that five patients had been treated and were recovering. Authorities have warned health care workers in the southern states to watch for symptoms, warning that malaria should be considered a medical emergency and that anyone with symptoms should be “immediately evaluated”.
Florida’s first case of malaria was detected in Sarasota County on May 26. Texas officials say a resident who works outdoors in Cameron County has been diagnosed with malaria.
The CDC noted that the risk of malaria in the United States remains low, and that most cases are acquired during travel.
Malaria is caused by five parasites carried by some female mosquitoes and can cause life-threatening injuries including kidney failure, seizures and coma. Symptoms include fever, chills, aches headache, muscle aches and fatigue, and possibly Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Most of the deaths occurred in Africa, mostly children.
A warning was issued advising residents to spray mosquito repellents
Florida has issued a mosquito-borne disease warning and advised residents to empty standing water, ensure there are no holes in window screens and use repellents containing DEET to avoid mosquito bites. In addition, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are also recommended in mosquito-infested areas.
As for Texas, a health alert has also been issued, advising clinicians to routinely obtain patient travel records to determine whether patients with malaria symptoms have been outdoors for a period of time or have been bitten by mosquitoes in malaria active areas.
About 2,000 cases of malaria are recorded in the United States each year, most of which are caused by travel. Since 1992, the United States has experienced 11 cases, up from eight cases in Palm County, Fla., in 2003.
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