[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 20, 1967

Malaria: Potential Importance to Civilian Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Darnall Army Hospital, Fort Hood, Tex.

JAMA. 1967;202(8):683-685. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130210057007

Malaria develops in a significant number of servicemen who return from Vietnam. One hundred consecutive cases seen in a three-month period at Darnall Army Hospital, Fort Hood, Tex, are reported. One fourth to one half of such patients experience symptoms while on leave in a civilian community. Illness in the typical patient has its onset within two months following the return from Vietnam and is characterized by the sudden development of fever, chills, headaches, and myalgia. Splenomegaly, when present, is usually of only moderate degree and may represent the only significant abnormality on physical examination. Diagnosis is made by demonstrating the malaria parasites in peripheral blood smears. The most common species in this study was Plasmodium vivax (83%). Correct treatment depends on species identification and is effective. The incidence of malaria in Vietnam returnees represents a significant medical problem for civilian physicians.