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Locally Acquired Malaria — Expert Says No Need for Widespread Concern

Locally acquired malaria
Locally acquired malaria reported in Maryland

Locally acquired malaria was recently identified

Locally acquired malaria

Locally acquired malaria reported in Maryland

First locally acquired malaria reported after 20 years

In a recent article published by ABCNews, another case of locally acquired malaria was recently reported, this time in Maryland, according to health officials. It’s the latest in a series of infections that have popped up in the U.S., including seven in Florida and one in Texas.

These are the first confirmed locally acquired malaria cases in the U.S. since 2003, when eight cases were reported in Florida’s Palm Beach County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Warnings have been issued by officials about the locally acquired malaria. But an expert said that there is no reason for most people to be concerned.

Malaria occurs when a person is bitten by a mosquito carrying malaria parasites, mainly the Anopheles mosquito. Malaria isn’t contagious and can’t be spread person-to-person even if it’s locally acquired malaria. About 2,000 malaria cases reported per year, but they’re most often diagnosed in people who caught the disease while abroad, that is why locally acquired malaria is a rare case.

Read Also:CDC Alert: First Locally-Acquired Malaria Cases Reported in the US in 20 Years

Locally acquired malaria is common in the U.S, but a public health campaign beginning in 1947 consisting of spraying insecticides on the interior surfaces of rural homes or entire premises in counties where locally acquired malaria was frequent, led to a total elimination of locally acquired malaria by 1950.

Trepka said there are many reasons why locally acquired malaria is not common in the U.S., such as living conditions, mainly that most people have screens and air conditioning. She added that there is always a risk of contracting malaria and having locally transmitted malaria.

She said there could be reasons that locally acquired malaria could be going up now, including increased travel following the COVID public health emergency and people potentially traveling to countries where locally acquired malaria is endemic and bringing it back.

Read Also:Locally Acquired Cases of Malaria in Florida and Texas

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