What to Know About Mosquitoes and Malaria
Over the past few years, the entire world has been on alert for new diseases. Sometimes we become so complacent, that we forget about the ones that have been with us for a very long time. Case in point, malaria, which is one of mankind’s oldest diseases. In some form or other, it has affected all the earth. Americans haven’t had to seriously think about malaria for a long time.
Recently, six cases of malaria were reported in Florida, and one case was reported in Texas. Since 1992, there have been 11 malaria outbreaks from mosquitoes in the U.S. The last one prior to this outbreak occurred in 2003, when eight cases were reported in Palm Beach County, Florida. Malaria, like encephalitis, zika, west nile, and chikungunya, is transmitted through infected Anopheles mosquitoes.
We recently were reminded that malaria can still pose a threat to us. The Florida Department of Health has issued a statewide mosquito-borne illness advisory following four confirmed locally originating malaria cases in Sarasota County. On June 26th, a health alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also noted that another case had been detected in Texas. Thankfully, all individuals have been treated and have recovered.
The CDC believes the risk of infection throughout the nation remains very low.
The CDC has a very informative site on how to protect yourself from mosquito bites:
Malaria does NOT spread person-to-person. Effective treatment is readily available through hospitals and other health care providers. Symptoms of malaria usually include fever, chills, sweats, nausea/vomiting, and a severe headache. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.
The Florida Department of Health is advising the public to remain vigilant in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering to Drain and Cover.
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots, or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
COVER skin with clothing or appropriate repellent.
- Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Repellent – Apply mosquito repellent appropriately. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone, and IR3535 are effective.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than two months old.
This isn’t a serious malaria outbreak right now. By taking precautions, we can assure it stays that way.
For more information on our mosquito services, click here, or call 1-833-341-6514.