by Madeleine Hubbard
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory for malaria after cases were found in Florida and Texas within the past two months, marking the first time in two decades that people acquired the disease from mosquitoes in the United States.
Four cases have been identified in Florida and one in Texas over the past two months. Mosquito control measures are being implemented in the affected areas in both states, the CDC said Monday.
The healthy agency is concerned cases could rise due to increased international summer travel.
The last malaria outbreak in the U.S. occurred in 2003 when eight people were infected in Palm Beach County, Fla.
The risk of acquiring malaria in the U.S. remains “extremely low,” the federal agency also said.
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted through female mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue and muscle aches and pain. A person may show symptoms between 10 days to four weeks after being bitten, but sometimes symptoms may take as long as a year to set in.
– – –