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July 10, 2023 - Locally Acquired Malaria Cases Identified in the United States

Monday, July 10, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory on Monday, June 26, 2023, regarding important updates of malaria in the United States. Recent cases of malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax have been identified in Florida and Texas within the past two months, indicating ongoing transmission in these areas. The advisory highlights concern regarding the potential increase in imported malaria cases due to anticipated international travel during summer 2023. Healthcare providers are urged to remain vigilant, promptly identify cases, and plan for rapid access to intravenous artesunate, which is the recommended first-line treatment for severe malaria in the United States. Malaria was eliminated from the United States (U.S.) in 1951, and almost all cases of malaria in the U.S. are travel-associated. Locally acquired, mosquito-transmitted cases of malaria last occurred in 2003 when eight cases of P. vivax were identified in Florida. To date, the DC Department of Health has received eight confirmed malaria cases, all directly linked to international travel.

The purpose of this health notice is to provide a situational update regarding the emergence of locally acquired malaria, and share recommendations for prompt diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of malaria, including the availability of intravenous artesunate as the first-line treatment for severe cases. The notice also emphasizes the significance of reporting both locally acquired and imported malaria cases.