Health Department issues statewide mosquito advisory following 4 malaria cases in Sarasota County
Genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys in an effort to combat persistent insect-borne diseases such as Dengue fever and the Zika virus. Image via AP.

Anyone in Sarasota County who has a fever, chills, sweats, nausea or vomiting, and a headache should seek immediate medical attention.

The Department of Health (DOH) issued a statewide mosquito-borne illness advisory after four cases of malaria were confirmed in Sarasota County. According to DOH, the four individuals recovered after being treated.

Malaria symptoms usually appear 10 days to one month after the person was infected. DOH officials encourage anyone in the area who has a fever, chills, sweats, nausea or vomiting, and a headache to seek immediate medical attention.

Malaria is caused by parasites that enter your body through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The Cleveland Clinic notes that if malaria isn’t treated, it can cause severe health problems such as seizures, brain damage, trouble breathing, organ failure and death. According to Cleveland Clinic’s website, the disease is rare in the United States, with about 2,000 cases per year.

For now, DOH’s message is “drain and cover.”

Water enables mosquitoes to multiply, so residents should drain standing water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.

Tarps that don’t accumulate water can be used to protect boats and vehicles and equipment that can’t be brought indoors. Pools should be maintained and chlorinated, and plastic portable pools for children and pets should be emptied and put up when not in use.

Everyone is encouraged to wear long pants and shirts whenever possible, but especially during sunrise and sunset, when mosquitoes are most active. DOH officials also say people should cover their limbs and other exposed areas with mosquito spray. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, PMD, 2-Undecanone, and IR3535 are effective. For children younger than two months old, mosquito netting should be used.

Meanwhile DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for other mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, chikungunya and dengue. Residents are encouraged to report dead birds to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    June 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Awesome. Another public health emergency that this Governor can only make worse.

    • Boaz

      June 27, 2023 at 3:49 am

      Haters are going to hate. Does your hatred for the Governor at least keep you warm? I hope the hate in your heart keeps helping you to make incoherent comments, in this case, detached from the subject at hand — mosquitoes. Keep hating. It suits you. I find it most entertaining.

      • Elliott Offen

        June 27, 2023 at 6:44 am

        👆Mini Hitler supporter and fascist.. ultra nationalist terrorist supporter.. religious whacko as well?

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  • MeatBall Ron

    June 27, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Why does everything bad always crawl out of Florida? Please Lord, break Florida off and set it adrift into the ocean. Amen.

Comments are closed.


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