Highest number of malaria cases in U.S. in over 40 years

Malaria Cases in different states of U.S. (Credit: CDC)

United States (U.S.) diagnosed and treated the highest number of malaria cases – about 2,000 – in 2011. It is the highest number since 1971, according to the report of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1971, over 3,000 malaria cases were reported especially in the military personnel. According to the health agency, five people died of malaria.

Plasmodium falciparum is the major cause of malaria while the second major cause is P. vivax. Among the other species are P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. knowlesi.  Malaria cases peaked in August and lowest cases of malaria occurred in February.

Number of malaria cases in 2011 (Credit: CDC)

CDC has reported that many U.S. residents go the countries, where malaria is present such as sub-Saharan Africa. They contract malaria and “either did not take an antimalarial drug to prevent the illness or did not take the appropriate drug or dose.”

CDC has presented following points to protect people from malaria:

  • Visit to the doctor 4-6 weeks before travelling
  • Purchase malaria pills and take as prescribed
  • Use mosquito repellants and other such strategies
  • In case of fever, visit the doctor to ensure that it is not malaria

Source:

Malaria Surveillance — United States, 2011 – CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6205a1.htm)

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.