Disease forecaster Ascel Bio is projecting a steady rise of malaria cases and demand for care in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and West South Central regions as travels to endemic countries will be more frequent during the summer months.
Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted through female mosquitoes. In many places, malaria transmission is seasonal due to weather patterns and environment conditions, e.g. optimal humidity and temperature. As per the CDC, an estimated 1500 cases are diagnosed in the United States annually, with the majority of cases being travelers or immigrants returning from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The incubation period varies from 7-30 days. Different Plasmodium parasites have different incubation periods. Symptoms are general and almost “flu” like but can be pronounced due to species type, causing severe anemia and neurological complications. Treatment varies according to species type, area visited by patient and clinical status.
The World Health Organization recommends using mosquito nets and insect repellent spray. Travelers should ask their travel medicine physician for prophylactic antimalarial medications prior to visit to endemic country.