The Florida Department of Health has issued a statewide mosquito advisory. In the past two months there has been an increasing number of malaria cases in the state. Malaria is transmitted by infected Anopheles mosquitos. The Florida cases have all been due to these mosquitos transmitting Plasmodium vivax. So far, there have been no deaths but several people required hospitalization.
The health department recommends reducing the chance for bites by wearing long pants and sleeves and using repellant (either on skin or on clothing) especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active. They also recommend “cover and drain” measures to eliminate standing water where mosquitos breed: garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, flowerpots and plastic children’s pools.
The symptoms of malaria include; fever, chills, sweats, nausea, vomiting and headache and should prompt individuals to seek immediate medical treatment.