CDC Issues Malaria Alert After Cases In TX, FL
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health alert after five cases of malaria were reported in Texas and Florida in the last two months.
The alert was issued on June 26 to doctors, public health authorities, and members of the public, reports NBC News.
According to the CDC, the four cases in Florida and one in Texas are the first in 20 years to be acquired locally, meaning the infections were not linked to travel outside the country.
The last such local cases were identified in 2003 in Palm Beach County, Florida.
There is, however, no evidence to suggest that this year’s Florida and Texas cases are related, the CDC said, adding that the risk throughout the country remains extremely low.
“Malaria is a medical emergency,” the health body said, adding that all five patients have gotten treatment and are recovering.
Last week, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the detection of the malaria case in a person who had spent time working outdoors, NBC News reported.
The person had not traveled outside the country or state.
The department advised Texas residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellant and wearing long sleeves and pants and further encouraged people to drain puddles, keep gutters clear, cover trash containers and regularly change the water in pet dishes and bird baths.
Also on June 26, the Florida Department of Health issued a state-wide mosquito-borne illness advisory, adding that all the four cases were reported in Sarasota County.
Before the Covid pandemic, the US saw around 2,000 cases of malaria each year, nearly all of which were detected in people who had traveled to other countries, the CDC said.
Around 5 to 10 people died annually, it added.