The health authorities of the State of Maryland in the United States revealed that a case of malaria had been detected in the region of Washington. This is a case of indigenous malaria, the patient did not return from a trip outside the United States or in another State.
Malaria, also called malaria, is a disease caused by a parasite of the genus Plasmodium, mainly transmitted to humans by female Anopheles mosquitoes. It affects a hundred countries in the world, in particular the underprivileged tropical zones of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In the United States, cases of malaria generally concern people who have traveled to areas where the disease is circulating. But in recent months, several cases of non-imported malaria have been detected in the country.
Maryland Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott said no non-imported cases of malaria have been reported in the state for more than 40 years. “We take this very seriously and are currently working with local and federal health officials to investigate this case.”she said.
The return of malaria in the United States?
Several cases of indigenous malaria have been reported in the United States in recent months. At the end of June 2023, the US Department of Health announced that five cases of indigenous malaria had been identified in Florida and Texas. The country had not reported non-imported cases of malaria since 2003.
The people concerned had therefore been infected by mosquitoes carrying the parasite, in the United States. The contaminations in the two states did not appear to be linked, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What are the symptoms of malaria?
In a non-immune person, the symptoms of malaria appear 8 to 30 days after the infectious bite: a high fever which can be accompanied by headaches, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and cough. Typical cycles alternating fever, tremors and intense sweating can then occur. Malaria is a serious infection that can be treated with medication.
In 2021, nearly half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria. In Europe, the departments of Guyana and Mayotte are the only areas of the territory where malaria is present. In mainland Europe, cases of malaria almost exclusively concern people returning from countries where malaria transmission is active.