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August 11, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(15):1101-1102. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860320043016

Discharged soldiers who have had malaria may have clinical attacks many months after leaving the service. Most of these attacks will be due to vivax infections. Of 18,171 analyzed attacks occurring in the United States in soldiers infected while oversea. 98 per cent were due to Plasmodium vivax alone. The attacks are generally mild and respond quickly to adequate treatment. Among 32,292 admissions for malaria to army hospitals in the United States in 1944 two deaths were attributed to the disease.

Febrile illnesses in discharged soldiers who have served in malarious regions should raise the suspicion of malaria. Thick blood films should be examined for parasites in such cases. The possibility of malarial relapses in ex-soldiers who undergo surgical operations must be kept constantly in mind. While it may occasionally be necessary to treat patients without an accurate laboratory diagnosis, such practice is dangerous and should not become routine. Other