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BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 02 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:68

Mosquitos carrying malaria have been known to hitch rides in aircraft to Europe and infect fellow passengers or even people who simply live near international airports. They can even hide in luggage and infect people some distance from airports. The first case of “baggage malaria” was reported in 1992 in Brescia, Italy, and the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene now reports a second in the same area (1994;50:548-9). The message is, always consider malaria in cases of unexplained fever, wherever the patient may be.

The search for a “magic bullet” against septic shock goes on, but further disappointment is reported in a recent “Journal of the American Medical Association.” A randomised controlled trial of the latest candidate — recombinant human interleukin 1 receptor antagonist — failed to show any significant overall benefit (1994;271:1836-43). A retrospective analysis of subgroups suggested that patients with organ dysfunction and those with predicted high mortality should benefit from treatment, but an accompanying editorial (1994;271:1876-8) warns that results of retrospective subgroup analysis are notoriously unreliable.

Minerva is lucky enough to be ageless, but others may be interested to know that high intensity exercise in old age can counteract frailty (New England Journal of Medicine 1994;330:1769-75). Three training sessions a week for …

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