7th case of malaria reported in Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Florida. Health officials announced another case of local malaria in Sarasota County, bringing the total to seven.

RELATED: 2 more cases of endemic malaria reported in Sarasota; total 6

The recent local cases are the first in the country in 20 years, according to the CDC, with the last case occurring in Palm Beach County in 2003, when eight people fell ill.

According to the Department of Health’s latest online report, Sarasota and Manatee counties have a mosquito-borne disease alert, and Polk County has a mosquito-borne disease advisory.

What you need to know:

  • Seven cases of local malaria have been confirmed in Sarasota County.
    • All of them have been registered in the Desoto Acres and Kensington Park area.
  • Can’t pass from person to person
  • Symptoms include: fever, chills, sweating, nausea/vomiting, headache.

Malaria cannot be transmitted from person to person. Wade Brennan, Sarasota County’s mosquito management manager, said the malaria parasite must first incubate in mosquitoes. It is then transferred to the human where it incubates before being passed on to the next mosquito.

β€œIt is important to take this seriously. We had a local transmission. Several people caught him,” Brennan said earlier.

The Sarasota County Mosquito Control Authority said all cases were reported in the Desoto Acres and Kensington Park area. Earlier this month, officials said it would take four to six weeks to eradicate malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

The Sarasota Mosquito Control Authority said it has only found malaria in three mosquitoes so far, which was more than a month ago. They target swampy areas to try and kill immature mosquitoes before they can bite.

β€œSince the emergence of malaria in Sarasota, we have treated over 470 truck miles, that’s miles of night spraying, and we’ve treated over 36,000 acres in the same area,” Brennan said.

Officials said the mosquitoes had only flown about a mile before, and there was no sign that the infected mosquitoes had traveled outside of northern Sarasota.

Precautionary measures:

  • Wearing a long sleeve shirt and trousers
  • Applying Insect Spray
  • Avoid areas with high mosquito populations
    • Especially during sunrise and sunset, when mosquitoes are most active.

Incidents in Sarasota put other local mosquito control agencies on high alert. USF researchers have asked the public for help tracking mosquitoes in the area.


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