5 things to know about malaria in the US

While officials declared malaria transmission within the United States had been eliminated in 1951, domestic hospitalizations and deaths related to the mosquito-borne virus among U.S. residents who contract the illness abroad are more common than many other travel-associated illnesses, according to a study published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

To assess the burden of malaria on the U.S. population and healthcare system, researchers analyzed the nationwide hospital admission database maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Here are five things to know about malaria in the U.S.

1. From 2000 to 2014, approximately 22,000 people were admitted to U.S. hospitals with malaria, which can cause flu-like symptoms.

2. Nearly 5,000 of those infected experienced severe cases of the virus, which may result in renal failure, coma or acute respiratory distress.

3. Among the patients who experienced severe malaria cases, 182 died.

4. Malaria accounted for significantly more hospitalizations than other travel-associated illnesses. Dengue, another mosquito-borne virus, is common in Mexico, Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. Small, local outbreaks of the virus have been reported in Florida and Texas in recent years. However, researchers discovered that, on average, dengue caused 259 annual hospitalizations during the study period compared to 1,489 hospitalizations for malaria.

Sign up for our FREE E-Weekly for more coverage like this sent to your inbox

5. Analysis revealed the average cost per malaria patient in the U.S. during the study period was approximately $25,800, amounting to about $555 million in total costs.

"It appears more and more Americans are traveling to areas where malaria is common and many of them are not taking preventive measures, such as using anti-malarial preventive medications and mosquito repellents, even though they are very effective at preventing infections," said Diana Khuu, PhD, a scientist at the UC Los Angeles and the study's lead author.

More articles on infection control: 
Study: Food supply possible source of C. diff infections 
Study: Drug-resistant bloodstream infection risk increases when drug-resistant bacteria are found in stool, urine 
Infant infected with rare tick-borne illness is first case in Connecticut history: 7 things to know

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers