Intended for healthcare professionals

Papers And Short Reports

Malaria in Britain: 1977-86

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 23 January 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:245
  1. P A Phillips-Howard,
  2. D J Bradley,
  3. M Blaze,
  4. M Hurn


    The incidence of malaria in Britain as reported to the Malaria Reference Laboratory during the past decade has increased by 51%, from 1529 to 2309 cases, and infection with Plasmodium falciparum has increased from one fifth to one third of all cases. The case fatality rate for P falciparum infections declined from 2·7% to 0·5%. Of the 67 persons who died, 54 were of British origin, nine of Asian descent, and four African. Sixteen had taken chemoprophylaxis; of these, nine had taken pyrimethamine alone.

    The pattern of infection shows that resident ethnic minority groups, temporary residents from west Africa, and tourists who visit Kenya are particularly at high risk. The calculated attack rates suggest that men, children, and young adults are at greater risk of malaria than women and older people. Rates are highest in immigrants who have settled in Britain who visit relatives: 316 and 331 per 100 000 for Africa and Asia respectively, 120 and 39 in tourists to those same regions, and 228 and 38 in business travellers to those regions.