Update: malaria, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014

MSMR. 2015 Jan;22(1):2-6.


U.S. service members are at risk of acquiring malaria infection when they are present in endemic areas because of long-term duty assignments, participation in shorter-term contingency operations, or personal travel. The number of malaria cases in 2014 (n=44) was slightly higher than in 2012 and 2013, but remained relatively low compared to 2005-2011. In 2014, more than one-third of cases were linked to Africa (n=15); 10 cases to Korea; and eight to Afghanistan. More than half (52%) of the 2014 cases were caused by Plasmodium falciparum (n=23) and 16% by P. vivax (n=7); 12 cases were reported as "unspecified" malaria. Malaria was reported from 30 different medical facilities in the U.S., Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, and the U.K. The relatively low numbers of cases during 2012-2014 likely reflect a decrease in the number of troops who served in Afghanistan in those years. Providers of health care to military members should be knowledgeable regarding, and vigilant for, clinical presentations of malaria outside of endemic areas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology
  • Malaria, Vivax / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Travel / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult