What is the incidence of malaria in the US?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Malaria was endemic in the southern United States until the 19th and early 20th centuries, but it has since been eradicated. Almost all US cases of malaria are imported from patients traveling from endemic areas. In very rare cases, infections in individuals who have not traveled have occurred near airports (so-called airport malaria). This is secondary to a local mosquito becoming infected through a blood meal from an infected traveler or the arrival of an infected mosquito aboard a plane; the mosquito then takes a blood meal from a local resident and transmits the infection. The CDC has recently documented an increase in the number of reported malaria cases in the United States. In 2010 there were 1,691 cases, representing a 14% increase from 2009 and a 30% increase from 2008. [6]

Each year, 25-30 million people travel to tropical areas, and approximately 10,000-30,000 US and European travelers acquire malaria.


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