Florida Issues Statewide Emergency Malaria Alert

 Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Florida Department of Health issued a statewide alert after four people in Sarasota contracted malaria in locally transmitted cases, coming a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a similar notice for Florida and Texas.

This thin film blood smear photomicrograph reveals the presence of two Plasmodium malariae schizonts, which cause malaria. (CDC/Dr. Mae Melvin)

“All individuals have been treated and have recovered. Malaria is transmitted through infected mosquitoes,” Florida’s Department of Health stated in a release issued June 27.

The agency stated that ground and airborne spraying that targets mosquitos will be carried out around Sarasota, which is near Tampa, to mitigate transmission.

“Effective treatment is readily available through hospitals and other health care providers,” the department stated. “Individuals in this area with symptoms of fever, chills, sweats, nausea/vomiting, and headache should seek immediate medical attention.”

It also advised the public to control the breeding of mosquitoes by eliminating any standing water, which is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

This close-up photograph shows a mosquito in Montlouis-sur-Loire, central France, on Oct. 21, 2022. (Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images)

Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots, or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected,” the alert said.

Locals should also take precautions while outdoors by using bug spray, avoiding infested areas, and wearing long sleeves and pants if possible.

Malaria is caused by a parasite, Plasmodium vivax, that spreads via mosquito bites, with the largest number of deaths occurring in tropical places such as sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria can be transmitted only by infected mosquitoes, not other people.

Symptoms include chills, fever, tiredness, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, and anemia and jaundice may also occur. If left untreated, infected individuals could develop more serious complications and die.

According to the World Malaria Report, released by the U.N. World Health Organization, there were about 247 million cases of malaria in 2021, while the estimated death toll for that year was 619,000. The WHO African Region had the highest share, accounting for about 95 percent of cases and 96 percent of deaths, it said.

Malaria was mostly eliminated in the United States in 1951 after officials sprayed the pesticide DDT and drained swamps in rural areas. DDT was ultimately banned in 1972 in the United States but is still used in African countries.

CDC Issues Notice for 2 States

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the cases in Florida and one in Texas mark the first local spread of malaria in the United States in about 20 years.

Read more here...

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