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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Aug;97(2):544-547. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0748. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Malaria-Associated Mortality in the Australian Defence Force during the Twentieth Century.

Shanks GD1,2,3.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
2
School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
3
Australian Army Malaria Institute, Enoggera, Australia.

Abstract

Malaria has been a military problem throughout history capable of causing epidemics that stop military operations. Individual mortality was examined from records of the three major wars of the 20th century that involved Australia in which 133 (1914-1919), 92 (1943-1945), and two (1965-1967) soldiers are known to have died with malaria. Those dying were predominately enlisted soldiers with a mean age of 29 years often complicated by other infections such as influenza, pneumonia or scrub typhus. Lethal epidemics of falciparum malaria occurred in Palestine/Syria in October 1918 and New Guinea in September 1943 to March 1944. Although no Australian soldier has died in nearly 50 years from malaria, there were three serious falciparum infections in soldiers in East Timor 1999-2000 who might have died if intensive care had not been provided. Recent military deployments into Africa including United Nations contingents still show falciparum malaria's lethality despite the availability of effective malaria chemoprophylaxis.

PMID:
28722576
PMCID:
PMC5544079
DOI:
10.4269/ajtmh.16-0748
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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