A Texas resident who spent time working outdoors in Cameron County (southernmost county of Texas, 140 miles south of Corpus Christi) was recently diagnosed with malaria. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has been working with local health departments to follow up on the case and determine whether other people may have been exposed. So far, no other locally acquired malaria cases have been identified in Texas.
Protect yourself from all mosquito-borne diseases by preventing mosquito bites.
- Wear EPA registered insect repellents whenever you go outside.
- Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially at night when mosquitos are active.
- Keep mosquitoes out by keeping doors and windows closed and/or installing window screens.
- Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by dumping out standing water, keeping gutters clear, covering trash containers, regularly changing water in pet dishes and bird baths, and using mosquito larvicide in water that can’t be drained.
If you are traveling, check your destination and consult your health care provider to see if you should take prescription malaria medication.
Malaria is a serious and potentially fatal disease which can be transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Almost all cases of malaria in the United States occur in people who have traveled outside the country.
The most common symptoms of malaria are flu-like and include fever, shaking chills, sweats, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting and typically start 7 to 30 days after infection. Without treatment, severe malaria can be life-threatening and can cause disorientation, seizures and other neurological symptoms, low red blood cell counts (anemia), acute respiratory distress syndrome, and kidney damage.
For More Information
- DSHS Health Advisory: dshs.texas.gov/news-alerts/health-advisory-locally-acquired-malaria-case
- Malaria (DSHS): dshs.texas.gov/malaria
- Prevent mosquito borne disease (DSHS): dshs.texas.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases
- About malaria (CDC): www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/index.html
- Malaria information and prophylaxis by country (CDC): www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/country_table/a.html