Mosquito officials: Malaria threat lifted in Manatee, Sarasota counties
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.

'This, of course, doesn’t mean we are out of the water. We want everyone to be vigilant in stopping those mosquito bites.'

The malaria alert in Sarasota and Manatee counties has been lifted, county mosquito control officials say.

“That’s great news for Sarasota, the whole state and the residents of our two counties. This, of course, doesn’t mean we are out of the water. We want everyone to be vigilant in stopping those mosquito bites,” said Wade Brennan, Director of the Sarasota County Mosquito Control District, during a press conference hosted by the Florida Mosquito Control Association.

“But it gives us good news, especially recovering from this past Hurricane that just went through.”

The DOH issued the first alert over the summer after two initial cases of malaria were discovered. A week later the DOH issued a statewide alert after the number of cases in Sarasota County jumped from two to four.

Brennan said the confirmed malaria cases in the county involved were in northern Sarasota County in the DeSoto Acres and in the Kensington Park area. He said malaria was found in both transient and what he called “resident” populations.

Chris Lesser, Director of the Manatee Mosquito Control District, said two confirmed malaria cases in his county were found in the transient population “around the area of the airport located in Manatee County.”

Malaria is caused by parasites that enter the body through the bite of an infected mosquito. It cannot be transferred person to person.

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.

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.


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