Arkansas reports first locally acquired malaria case

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Los Angeles, Oct 7 (IANS) The US state of Arkansas has identified its first locally acquired malaria case, the fourth state in the country that has reported locally acquired cases of one of the world’s most dangerous infectious diseases.

The Arkansas Department of Health identified the locally acquired malaria case in an Arkansas resident this week. The person resides in Saline County and has not travelled out of the country.

This is the only known locally acquired case of malaria in Arkansas, Xinhua news agency reported.

So far this year, five additional malaria cases have been reported in Arkansas, but all were acquired outside of the country, according to the State Health Department.

Multiple other cases of locally acquired malaria contracted in the US have been identified this year. Seven cases of locally acquired malaria were identified in Florida, one case in Texas, and one case in Maryland, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.

Most malaria cases diagnosed in the US are imported, usually by persons who have travelled to countries where malaria is endemic. However, locally acquired mosquito-transmitted malaria cases can occur, as Anopheles mosquito vectors exist throughout the US, according to the CDC.

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