Florida health officials reported a new case of malaria on Tuesday, July 19, 2023. The case is the eighth locally acquired malaria infection in the U.S. since May. The cases are the first to be acquired in the U.S. in 20 years.
The newest case was identified last week in Sarasota County, where all seven of Florida’s cases have been found. The patient is a woman in her 60s who had traveled to Africa in the past year. She is being treated for malaria and is expected to make a full recovery.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the risk of malaria in the U.S. is low, but that people who travel to areas where malaria is common should take precautions. These precautions include taking antimalarial medication, using insect repellent, and wearing long sleeves and pants.
The CDC is also working with Florida health officials to investigate the cases of locally acquired malaria. The agency is trying to determine how the people were infected and whether there is a risk of further transmission.
The cases of locally acquired malaria in Florida are a reminder that malaria is still a threat in the U.S. However, the risk of infection is low for people who take precautions. If you are planning to travel to an area where malaria is common, be sure to talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated and taking antimalarial medication.