Review of 40 children with imported malaria

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1989 Nov;8(11):745-50. doi: 10.1097/00006454-198911000-00003.


Forty cases of imported malaria (1978 to 1988) are reviewed and management principles are discussed. All 15 cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria were acquired in Africa, 5 of which were probably chloroquine-resistant. Most cases of Plasmodium vivax (80%) were acquired on the Indian subcontinent, including 2 cases of congenital malaria. Six children developed P. falciparum malaria despite chemoprophylaxis. All children had a history of fever, usually with other influenza-like symptoms. Two-thirds had splenomegaly, and one-third were afebrile on admission. Thrombocytopenia (70%) and anemia (70%) were often present. Forty-five percent received previous wrong diagnoses and treatments. Quinine or quinidine with either Fansidar or clindamycin were used to treat P. falciparum malaria. Clindamycin may be more effective if given for 7 instead of 3 days. There were no deaths or residual complications. As the prevalence and severity of drug-resistant P. falciparum spreads, prophylaxis and treatment choices become more difficult. Diagnosis requires a travel history and a high index of suspicion.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Malaria / blood
  • Malaria / congenital
  • Malaria / drug therapy
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Travel


  • Antimalarials