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April 1969

Malaria in American Soldiers

Author Affiliations

Fort Campbell, Ky

From the Department of Medicine, US Army Hospital, Fort Campbell, Ky. Dr. Martelo is now a fellow in research in the Division of Hematology, University of Miami.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(4):383-387. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300140029007

A study of malaria occurring in 176 soldiers returning from Vietnam was undertaken to determine the type, clinical course, complications, prognosis, and most effective treatment. In contrast to other studies, malaria in 93% of our patients was due to Plasmodium vivax and only 3% to P falciparum. Anemia was found in 15% of our patients, and hemolysis was the most frequent cause. Leukopenia and thrombocytopenia were relatively frequent. A significant number had intestinal parasites. Outstanding complications in these patients were spontaneous rupture of spleen and malarial hepatitis. Patients with P vivax malaria frequently were not cured with the modes of therapy presently used and had up to four recurrences. Recurrent malaria will be seen frequently by physicians in civilian practice.