August 1, 2023
Recently, locally acquired cases of malaria in Florida and Texas have received national media attention. MVCAC has developed the below statement for member agencies to use when responding to questions regarding these detections and the risk of locally acquired cases in California. MVCDs are encouraged to tailor this statement with information specific to their district.
Despite reports of recent malaria cases in Florida and Texas, local transmission of malaria in the U.S. is very rare. Most malaria cases are acquired when people travel outside of the U.S. where malaria transmission occurs. Anopheles mosquitoes that can spread malaria are present in California, but the parasites that cause malaria are not currently found in these mosquitoes in California. The last cases of local transmission of malaria in California were reported in 1990. About 100 cases of malaria are reported each year in California from people who were infected while traveling in other countries. Since malaria is a reportable disease, all diagnosed imported cases are tracked by the state and local public health departments. The patient’s history and potential for exposure to local malaria vectors are evaluated and if need be, actions are made to prevent possible transmission within the local community.
Mosquito and vector control agencies in California monitor many species of mosquitoes including those that carry West Nile Virus, invasive mosquitoes, and those that have the ability to carry malaria. Mosquito and vector control agencies do this to protect public health and quickly respond when mosquito-borne diseases threaten residents.
Residents are encouraged to wear EPA-registered insect repellent and dump and drain all standing water in and around their homes to prevent mosquito bites. To learn more about mosquito prevention please visit mvcac.org. To learn more about malaria please visit the CDC and the California Department of Public Health.