Provider News

Malaria FAQ for Providers of Pediatric Patients

July 5, 2023

Infectious disease experts from the Pediatric Pandemic Network (PPN) – a group that includes Seattle Children’s and other children’s hospitals – have created a provider focused FAQ to help mitigate the risk and spread of malaria in pediatric patients and pregnant women.

The CDC recently issued a malaria health advisory after four individuals in Florida and one in Texas contracted the disease from mosquitos this spring – the first time in 20 years that locally acquired mosquito-borne malaria has appeared in the United States.

CDC is encouraging providers to consider a malaria diagnosis in any individual with fever of unknown origin regardless of their travel history.

“Malaria is a medical emergency and should be treated accordingly,” the CDC said. “Patients suspected of having malaria should be urgently evaluated in a facility that is able to provide rapid diagnosis and treatment, within 24 hours of presentation.”

The CDC says there is no evidence that the case in Texas is related to the four cases in Florida, and that the risk of locally acquired malaria remains extremely low in the United States. Active surveillance is continuing.