FRIDAY, June 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Public health authorities are continuing to investigate malaria cases in Florida and Texas, gathering mosquitoes for tests.
Multiple mosquitoes from Sarasota County in Florida have tested positive for malaria at a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab, CBS News reported. So far all mosquitoes tested in Texas have been negative for the disease, according to a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health.
The testing follows discovery of four locally acquired cases of malaria in Florida and one in Texas -- the first known cases of the illness being transmitted inside the United States since 2003, CBS News reported.
In Florida, Sarasota County Mosquito Management Services said it had found three mosquitoes that were carrying the disease-causing parasite, all located in the same woodlot. Local authorities are spraying in an effort to eradicate potential malaria in Anopheles mosquitoes in that area.
The CDC says risk of further local spread of malaria "remains extremely low" nationwide, but also issued a public health advisory. The Anopheles mosquitoes that can spread the parasite that causes malaria are found in much of the United States.
"Consider the diagnosis of malaria in any person with a fever of unknown origin, regardless of international travel history, particularly if they have been to the areas with recent locally acquired malaria," the CDC urged in its advisory.
It is not known whether health departments in either state are investigating additional suspected cases, CBS News reported.