Title: First Cases of Malaria Reported in Florida in Two Decades, Increase in Leprosy Cases Alarming
The Florida Department of Health has raised concerns over mosquito-borne illnesses following four confirmed cases of malaria in Sarasota County, prompting a statewide advisory. This marks the first time malaria has been reported in the state in 20 years, raising alarm bells among health officials.
Adding to the growing health concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a startling increase in leprosy cases across the United States. In 2020 alone, there were 159 new cases reported, with Florida being one of the top states with high incidences of the disease.
Dr. Elizabeth Borrero, a renowned expert in infectious diseases, explains that leprosy, an age-old disease, has never been eradicated and is often spread by those who travel to regions where it is endemic, such as Nepal, India, Brazil, and Malaysia. Contrary to popular belief, leprosy is not highly contagious between individuals. Nevertheless, it can be transmitted through the nine-banded armadillo or via contact with contaminated soil.
Malaria, on the other hand, is spread by infected mosquitoes. Common symptoms include night sweats, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. It is important to note that travel plays a significant role in the spread of malaria, and health experts advise consulting a travel medicine specialist before visiting countries where the disease is prevalent.
In an effort to combat malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been actively working toward preventing its global spread. This includes ongoing research and the development of a vaccine, although it has yet to become available in the United States.
For those interested in learning more about leprosy and malaria in Florida, Florida’s Fourth Estate on News 6 offers an informative platform. They provide expert insights through their television program or podcast, providing valuable information on the diseases and how to prevent their transmission.
As the number of mosquito-borne illnesses rises, it is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions when traveling to affected areas. Ignoring these diseases can have significant consequences, and the timely dissemination of accurate information is critical in curbing their spread.
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