Maryland Reports Case of Locally Acquired Malaria
There's been another case of locally acquired malaria in the United States, this time in Maryland, authorities report.
It's the first time this has happened in that state in 40 years.
No evidence connects this case to seven locally acquired infections in Florida or another one in Texas that were previously reported, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are taking this very seriously and will work with local and federal health officials to investigate this case," Maryland Health Department Secretary Laura Herrera Scott said in the statement.
The state health department said the patient, who is hospitalized and recovering, has not traveled outside the United States recently, NBC News reported.
The patient had gone to the hospital with symptoms including fever and sweating, said Dr. David Blythe, director of the health department's infectious disease division, NBC News reported.
A mosquito may have acquired malaria from a person who had acquired it while traveling, and then spread it via a bite to the Maryland patient, Blythe theorized.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne illness, is rare in the United States and was considered eliminated nationally by 1951. Death from the disease can typically be prevented with treatment, the CDC said.
Nearly all of the more than 2,000 malaria cases reported annually in the United States are acquired by travelers overseas.
The cases in Florida and Texas have all been reported since May, according to the CDC.
The World Health Organization has more on malaria.
SOURCE: NBC News, Aug. 19, 2023