The Maryland Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first case of locally acquired malaria in over 40 years (source: healthDEP). The patient, who has not been identified, was hospitalized after contracting the disease locally. This is a significant development as malaria is typically acquired by travelers visiting countries where the disease is endemic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Malaria is not endemic in the United States but is prevalent in many parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Maryland Department of Health is working to identify the infection’s source and prevent the spread of the disease. Malaria is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. However, the mosquitoes that transmit the disease can be found in Maryland, particularly in the southern part of the state, where the climate is warmer and more humid.
In response to the case, health officials urge residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using insect repellent, and staying indoors during peak mosquito hours. They are also advising travelers to take prophylactic medication when visiting countries where malaria is prevalent.
This is the second case of a rare infectious disease reported in Maryland this year. In June, a resident was diagnosed with measles, the state’s first case since 2019 (source: CNN). The recent cases highlight the importance of vaccination and public health measures in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
The confirmation of Maryland’s first case of locally acquired malaria in over 40 years is a concerning development. Health officials are working to identify the infection’s source and prevent the spread of the disease. Residents are urged to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, and travelers are advised to take prophylactic medication when visiting countries where malaria is endemic. The recent cases of rare infectious diseases in Maryland underscore the importance of vaccination and public health measures in preventing the spread of disease.