(RightWing.org) – The CDC is warning that malaria is spreading in the US. Five cases of the disease have been reported in the last two months. What does this mean, and what can we do about it?
US health alert over malaria cases in Florida and Texas https://t.co/WjVOL5uTEn
— Gail G. Abney (@GailGAbney) June 27, 2023
On June 26, the CDC issued an alert for five cases of malaria. Most Americans who get malaria catch it abroad, but these victims were infected in the US; four of the cases are in Florida and one in Texas. That means more people could be at risk.
Malaria is caused by a parasite that’s released into the blood by the bite of an infected mosquito. The symptoms vary but commonly include fever, chills, headaches, nausea and vomiting; they take at least a week to appear and sometimes as long as a month. If the disease isn’t treated, it can cause deadly organ failure; even if it isn’t fatal, victims face repeated bouts of the disease for the rest of their lives. It’s particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn infants.
All four Florida cases are clustered in the same area, and local public health officials are now monitoring for more cases as well as trying to control the mosquito population. The CDC is advising doctors to consider malaria if they see any cases of unknown fevers or other symptoms that match the disease and warns that if you suffer from malaria symptoms, you need to treat it as a medical emergency and get treatment immediately.
To reduce the risk of malaria, you need to minimize mosquito bites. Use bug spray if there are mosquitos around. Eliminate standing water from your property because that’s where mosquitos lay their eggs. Even small puddles can quickly breed a colony of the insects, such as rainwater that collects on a loose boat cover. Use window screens to protect your home, and cover up with loose, light-colored clothing to keep them away from your skin.
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