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Travelers Warned To Use Repellants As Mosquito-Borne Diseases Pop Up

Grab bug spray because you’re going to need it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning doctors to be on guard for malaria after at least five locally acquired cases were identified in Florida and Texas.

Homegrown malaria isn’t the only concern. European health officials announced an uptick in locally acquired cases of dengue, which is also surging in Central and South America, as well as in many parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

“We also recommend that travelers use mosquito repellent for up to three weeks after returning,” said Dr. Aiman Halai, vector-borne disease expert with Public Health.

The U.S. eliminated malaria in the early 1950s, but the mosquito that can transmit it lives in California.

“We don't have these viruses circulating in Los Angeles County, but we do have the mosquito that is capable of transmitting these viruses. And so we want to reduce the risk of introducing these viruses into our local environment,” Halai said.

It’s also worth wearing insect repellent locally, now that West Nile positive mosquitoes have been found in L.A. County. Climate change and increasing connections worldwide are likely the main drivers of rising disease threats.

Continue reading the full article here.


October 20, 2023

Written by
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Jackie Fortier

Senior Health Reporter

I cover health in Southern California and the health care industry in the Los Angeles area.

I started in this newsroom just before the pandemic shut most everything down and it has been an intense year as I've worked to make what's going on as easy to understand as I can. For example, here's the mission we set for covering the vaccine rollout:

We will help Angelenos get accurate up-to-date information about the vaccine, navigate the hurdles to getting vaccinated and share our experiences as we try to make it to the other side of this pandemic.

I previously worked in public radio in Oklahoma and Colorado, but I’ve fallen in love with the mountains and beaches of California. If you listen closely when I’m live on the radio on 89.3 KPCC, you may hear my three cats make an appearance — despite my best efforts to keep them quiet.

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