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Locally acquired malaria identified in Arkansas
Little Rock -The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has identified a case of locally acquired malaria in an Arkansas resident. The person resides in Saline County and has not traveled out of the country. This is the only known locally acquired case of malaria in Arkansas.
Multiple other cases of locally acquired malaria contracted in the U.S. have been identified this year. Seven cases of locally acquired malaria were identified in Florida, one case in Texas, and one case in Maryland.
Malaria is transmitted via infected Anopheles mosquitoes. It is not transmitted from person to person. So far this year, five additional cases have been reported in Arkansas, but all were acquired outside of the U.S.
Symptoms of malaria include fever, shaking chills, sweating, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting, which start up to 30 days after infection. It is important to seek treatment if you begin to exhibit these symptoms. Malaria can cause disorientation, seizures, anemia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and kidney damage without treatment. It can also lead to death.
Individuals can take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using insect repellant, avoiding areas with high mosquito populations, and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when possible. Use EPA-registered insect repellants, such as DEET, picaridin, and others. It is also recommended to dump any standing water around your home. Mosquitoes can reproduce in as little as a bottlecap full of water. If you are traveling internationally to an area where malaria occurs, talk to your healthcare provider about medicines to prevent you from getting malaria.
For more information about malaria, please visit: CDC - Parasites - Malaria.