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US malaria patients have often not taken chemoprophylactic drugs, CDC report finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7462 (Published 15 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7462
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Only about a third of US people who develop malaria while traveling abroad were taking drugs to prevent the infection, a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found.

Of the 1687 reported cases in the United States in 2012 all but four were imported, the report said, and the vast majority of imported cases were in people who had traveled to Africa.1

Many of the case reports that the CDC received during the year were incomplete, the researchers wrote, but of the 1536 imported cases in which it was known where the infection was acquired, 1220 (79%) were acquired in Africa.

Sources of malaria infections in the US. See www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7462/infographic

Of the remaining patients, 200 (13%) had become infected while traveling in Asia, 68 (4%) in the Caribbean, 41 (3%) in South America, and seven (0.5%) in Oceania. Of the 909 patients whose reported purpose of travel was known, 604 (66%) were traveling to …

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