Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is
transmitted by the bite of an infected Anopheles
The symptoms of malaria include:
general sick feeling)
Early stages of malaria may
resemble the onset of influenza.
Who gets malaria?
Malaria is extremely rare in the United States, but is
present in almost all countries in the tropics and
Anyone can get malaria if they are bitten
by an infected mosquito.
How is malaria spread?
Malaria is spread by mosquito bites. Cases of
malaria that occur in the United States are nearly
always among those who have traveled to places
where malaria is common.
How soon after exposure do symptoms
Malaria symptoms can develop as early as 6-8 days
after being bitten by an infected mosquito or as late
as several months after departure from an area where malaria is present, after antimalarial drugs are
How is malaria diagnosed?
Malaria is diagnosed by the demonstration of
malaria parasites in a blood smear. Questions about
blood smears should be directed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is the treatment for malaria?
Malaria can be treated with specific antimalarial
drugs. It can be treated effectively in its early stages,
but delaying treatment can have serious consequences.
Travelers who become ill with a fever during or after
travel in a risk area should seek prompt medical
attention and should inform their physician of their
recent travel history.
Neither the traveler nor the
physician should assume that the traveler has 'the flu'
or some other disease without doing a laboratory test
to determine if the symptoms are caused by malaria.
How can malaria be prevented?
The risk of malaria in the United States is virtually
nonexistent. Malaria may be prevented in travelers
who visit areas where malaria is present if they use antimalarial drugs and personal protection measures
(for example, mosquito netting and insect
The risk of malaria depends on the
traveler's itinerary and activities, and his or/her
duration of travel. Anopheles mosquitoes bite during
nighttime hours, from dusk to dawn, so it is
especially necessary to be aware of possible exposure
during these hours.
It is important to remember that travelers can still
get malaria, despite use of antimalarial drugs and
other preventive measures.
Where can I get more information?
Contact your physician or the Southern Nevada Health District, Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300.