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Maryland reports first malaria case not related to travel in 40 years

Maryland health authorities on Friday reported the state’s first locally-acquired malaria case in four decades, adding to a handful of cases that have been tracked in the United States this year.

The Maryland Department of Health said the individual, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, was hospitalized but is now recovering. The patient did not recently travel outside the U.S. or visit Florida or Texas, where other malaria cases have been reported.

“Malaria was once common in the United States, including in Maryland, but we have not seen a case in Maryland that was not related to travel in over 40 years,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Laura Herrera Scott in a release. “We are taking this very seriously and will work with local and federal health officials to investigate this case.”

In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a health advisory that called on health professionals to be on the lookout for patients with malaria symptoms, which include fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue, and to diagnose those individuals and administer drugs to treat malaria within 24 hours.

Malaria is a serious and potentially fatal disease transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito bite. In rare cases, it can also be spread from a mother to fetus, through blood transfusion or organ transplantation or unsafe needle-sharing practices.

Source : Silive