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JAMA. 1991 Jan 16;265(3):383-5.

Imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria in American travelers to Africa. Implications for prevention strategies.

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  • 1Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Ga 30333.


Data from the US National Malaria Surveillance System were analyzed to assess characteristics of travelers who acquired Plasmodium falciparum infections in Africa and evaluate the impact of chloroquine resistance on the incidence of imported malaria. Although the number of cases acquired in East Africa has stabilized, the number of imported P falciparum infections acquired in West Africa increased threefold from 1985 to 1988, and the proportion of travelers who reported failure of chloroquine prophylaxis increased from 10% to 48%. Fifty-eight percent of patients who acquired malaria in West Africa had not used chemoprophylaxis. To curb the rising incidence of P falciparum infections in American travelers, the Centers for Disease Control revised malaria prophylaxis recommendations to include the use of mefloquine in areas of chloroquine resistance. Use of malaria protection measures by travelers to West Africa must also be improved.

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