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Autopsy results confirm 4 year old Italian girl died from malaria

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4235 (Published 11 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4235
  1. Michael Day
  1. Lecce, Italy

The death of a four year old girl from falciparum malaria in Italy has puzzled doctors in a country free of the disease since 1970.

Italy’s health ministry sent inspectors to two hospitals in the north of the country on 8 September after some experts speculated that the child may have been infected while being treated in hospital for complications related to her diabetes.

Results from an autopsy in Brescia confirmed the death, on 4 September, was from cerebral malaria.

One explanation is that the child, Sofia Zago, contracted the disease during her stay at one of the hospitals, the Santa Chiara in Trento, from …

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