Malaria

Malaria should be suspected in any patient returning from endemic areas with a febrile illness which may have cerebral, abdominal, lung or renal features. Rarely, people living near airports may be bitten by a transported Anopheles mosquito. There may be considerable delay (weeks to months) between the mosquito bite and signs of infection. It is caused by protozoal infection with the Plasmodium genus. The most severe form is P. falciparum which causes malignant, tertian malaria. Other forms (P. malariae, P. vivax, P. ovale) rarely cause significant life threatening disease and will not be discussed further.

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