Risk of Malaria back in the US for first time in 20 years

Malaria by Mosquito

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Malaria, a potentially deadly disease caused by a mosquito-borne parasite, is making inroads into the US.
  • Five new cases of malaria — one in Texas and four in Florida — are alarming officials because they were locally acquired, meaning a mosquito in the US was carrying the parasite.
  • That hasn’t happened since 2003 in Palm Beach County, Florida, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
  • Almost all cases of malaria now seen in the US are from people who traveled outside the country, where they were exposed to disease-carrying mosquitoes.
  • But these five new cases — seen in people who hadn’t traveled abroad — raise fears that local mosquitoes could be spreading the disease to other people.
  • But people with the parasite in their blood don’t always have symptoms, making it easy for the disease to spread when an asymptomatic person is bit.
  • Symptoms of malaria include fever, shaking, chills, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and tiredness, according to the CDC.
  • If it’s not treated promptly, the infection can cause jaundice, anemia, kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma and death.

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Flesh-Eating Parasite Infections Growing In Syria

In the midst of the Syrian civil war, World Health Organization officials are noting an increase in deadly diseases and a flesh-eating parasite.

The WHO has recorded the first suspected outbreak of polio in the Syria in 14 years along with flare-ups of typhoid and hepatitis. They have also found the flesh-eating paraiste leishmaniasis and are blaming the infections on the collapse of the health care system in the country which is prohibiting vaccinations in many parts of the nation.

Oliver Rosenbawer of the WHO Global Polio Eradication Initiative told the London Daily Telegraph that while they haven’t yet received official laboratory confirmation, there are at least 22 people in the northeast province of Deir Ezzor showing symptoms of polio.

“The tragedy [of polio] is that there is no cure,” Rosenbawer said. “Once you have polio, it is for life. So the only way to tackle it is through vaccination.”

The WHO is also concerned about the mass exodus of refugees from the war-torn nation. They are worried that unvaccinated refugees could take diseases like polio to nations where the virus had been eradicated.

The WHO reports that at least 35 percent of Syria’s hospitals have been damaged or destroyed in the civil war and that up to 70 percent of health care workers have fled the country.

CDC Searches Origin of Parasite That Sickens Hundreds

The Centers for Disease Control is trying to find the source of an outbreak of Cyclospora that has sickened hundreds of people, mostly in the Midwest.

The mystery stems from the fact the parasite is not common in the United States but rather found in tropical locations like Latin America.  The parasite also isn’t spread from person to person, so there has to be a contaminated food or water source.  Continue reading