July 18th, Tuesday, Florida health officials reported yet another case of malaria, making a total of 8th cases of locally contracted malaria infections in the United States. Currently, all of the locally contracted infections have been acquired in Sarasota County, Florida.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that usually feeds on humans. According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and others. Malaria often prevails in an area with high humidity and temperature, where parasites like mosquitos are very active.
Even though these cases are the first to be acquired in 20 years in the U.S and it is in a rising trend, Dr. Parise, the director of CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, states that “we don’t think this is going to go broadly - say, to a nationwide outbreak.” All the past trends of locally contracted malaria have been small and controlled, and this outbreak follows the trend.
On the other hand, there has been a surge of new cases of Malaria in South Korea. By the 11th of July, Incheon, S. Korea have recorded 44 cases of Malaria, which is more than twice as many cases compared to the previous year. And in the national scale, S. Korea has acquired a total of 338 cases which is 2.41 times more than the year prior. Currently, the Incheon Health officials have declared a warning for Malaria in the areas surrounding Incheon and in Incheon.
Even though the number of cases is low compared to other diseases or infections, people should still be cautious when taking part in outdoor activities. As both the Florida health officials and South Korean health officials have warned, the residents should take action by wearing long sleeves, using bug sprays, and draining standing water to prevent the possibility of getting infected.