For the first time in 20 years, five cases of malaria contracted on American soil have been confirmed in Florida and Texas, the US health authorities have warned.
The network of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All patients are being treated and their condition is improving”.
It was emphasized that the four cases that appeared in Florida (southeast) do not seem to be linked to the fifth case diagnosed in Texas (south).
The health authorities are looking to see if there are any further cases, and prophylactic measures have been taken, particularly against mosquitoes, the vectors of malaria.
In Florida, an appeal has been launched in Sarasota and Manatee counties to drain stagnant water conducive to mosquito breeding and to protect themselves from bites by wearing trousers and long sleeves.
Texas has also issued health advice after a case of malaria was diagnosed in a resident working outdoors in Cameron, the only one so far in Texas.
“Despite these cases, the risk of contracting malaria locally remains extremely low in the United States”, added the CDC.
The CDC identified eight patients with malaria in Palm Beach County, Florida in 2003, which was the last local case of malaria in the United States.
Most cases of malaria in the United States are imported, affecting travelers returning from countries where transmission is endemic.
Malaria caused the death of 619,000 people worldwide in 2021, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO).