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CDC: U.S. Malaria Cases Highest in Decades

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Malaria cases in the United States are the highest they have been in decades.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Malaria cases in the United States are the highest they have been in decades.

In 201, more than 19,000 cases were reported in the U.S. That's the highest amount since 1971, according to the CDC.

Malaria is a parasitic disease that humans get if they are bitten by certain types of mosquitoes.

Kansas State University biologist Kristen Michel is studying ways to eradicate malaria. She says most cases are contracted by people traveling to infected areas outside of the country, not getting it from mosquitoes in the U.S.

"Nevertheless, we need to be cautious,” says Michel. “So yes there is the ability, the biological ability, to acquire it in the U.S., but lots of things have to come together for that, obviously.”

Medication is available for travelers to take before they leave the country which will prevent malaria.

Michel says the reason for the higher number of U.S. cases is because only 35 percent of people are actually taking the medicine recommended by the CDC.
 
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