CDC and Sarasota County officials address malaria outbreak

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Scientists analyze mosquitoes // Credit CDC 2023
Scientists analyze mosquitoes // Credit CDC 2023

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After two weeks without new malaria cases, Sarasota County and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials spoke out Thursday regarding the outbreak.

Sarasota saw its first case of malaria in late May. As of July 27th, there have been seven cases of locally transmitted malaria specifically in north Sarasota. All of the individuals have been treated and are recovering.

Jamie Carson is the Director of Communications for Sarasota County.

“Our mosquito management services team is working diligently and performing routine truck and aerial missions with a concentrated effort in obviously north Sarasota.”

Three of the seven cases occurred in people experiencing homelessness. Carson stated that over a thousand cans of repellent and 60 bed nets have been provided in the affected area.

Things are looking positive, according to Audrey Lenhart with the CDC.

“Truly every day that goes by gets us closer to feeling confident that the transmission cycles has been interrupted.”

The last case was reported on July 13th. Officials said that the cases are focused in the neighborhoods of DeSoto Acres and Kensington Park. However, Carson says everyone in north Sarasota should stay vigilant.

“Community members are still encouraged to take every precaution that we’ve been providing them information about — wearing long sleeves, wearing repellant, being situationally aware, emptying standing water, pots of standing water, taking a look at their gardens or flower pots and such like that. And then, if it’s not necessary for them to be out in those evening hours, to probably just  avoid that time frame.”

Sarasota County is hosting an event on August 4th at 5:30 at the RL Taylor Community Complex for residents to meet Sarasota’s mosquito management services team and ask questions.

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