Health officials issued a warning after five cases of malaria were identified in Florida and Texas in people who had not recently travelled overseas, sparking concerns about local transmission.

 Malaria is a life-threatening but curable disease caused by a parasite transmitted through mosquito bites or other means such as infected blood transfusions.

Typical symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Severe cases may experience unusual bleeding, jaundice, and difficulty breathing.

Malaria is most prevalent in warm countries with tropical climates, and in 2021, about 247 million cases and 619,000 deaths were reported worldwide.

The United States and 42 other countries and territories have been certified as malaria-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).

 Authorities in Florida and Texas have confirmed the first cases of local transmission of malaria in the United States since 2003.

 The recent cases in Florida and Texas are not linked, but at least two of the individuals had spent prolonged time outdoors.

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The Anopheles mosquito, found across most of the continental United States, is responsible for transmitting malaria to humans.

Prevention measures include using mosquito nets, applying insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and taking antimalarial medicines.

Although there is no universal vaccine for malaria, a vaccine called RTS,S is recommended for children in countries with moderate to high transmission rates.