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Emerg Microbes Infect. 2016 Jan 20;5:e6. doi: 10.1038/emi.2016.6.

Effects of a malaria elimination program: a retrospective study of 623 cases from 2008 to 2013 in a Chinese county hospital near the China--Myanmar border.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China.
Department of Infectious Diseases, The People's Hospital of Tengchong County, Baoshan 679100, Yunnan Province, China.


The southwestern region of China, along the Myanmar border, has accounted for the highest number of cases of imported malaria since China shifted from a malaria control program to an elimination strategy in 2010. We conducted a retrospective study, in which 623 medical charts were analyzed to provide an epidemiological characterization of malaria cases that were diagnosed and treated at the People's Hospital of Tengchong County (PHTC), located in southwestern China, from 2008 to 2013. Our aim was to understand the characteristics of malaria in this region, which is a high-endemic region with imported cases. The majority of patients were male (91.7%), and the average age was 32.4 years. Most of the patients (86.4%) had visited Myanmar; labor was the purpose of travel for 63.9% of the patients. Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum were responsible for 53.8% and 34.9% of the infections, respectively. The number of hospitalized patients rose gradually from 2008 to 2010 and reached its peak in 2010 (191). After 2010, the number of hospitalized cases fell rapidly from 191 (2010) to 45 (2013), and the proportion of patients who lived in the forest and the number infected with P. falciparum also fell. In conclusion, the number of hospitalized patients in the southwestern region of China, Tengchong county, decreased after China implemented a malaria elimination strategy in 2010. However, migrant workers returning from Myanmar remained important contributors to cases of imported malaria. The management of imported malaria should be targeted by the malaria elimination program in China.

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