European Journal of Emergency Medicine vol:8 issue:4 pages:287-90
Imported malaria remains a difficult problem in nonendemic areas of the world. We describe the clinical presentation of 101 cases of malaria diagnosed at the Leuven University Hospital between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 1999. Ninety-three patients (92%) presented initially at the emergency department. Diagnosis was initially not suspected by the referring physician in 48 patients (47%). Plasmodium falciparum was the commonest species, accounting for 67% of the cases. All but three patients had fever as the presenting symptom, but only 10 had a typical tertian fever pattern. Haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia and hyponatraemia represented a typical triad in 20% of the cases. Only 13% of the malaria patients had taken correct chemoprophylaxis according to WHO recommendations. Eighty-three per cent of the patients were admitted to the hospital with a median duration of hospitalization of 4 days. All complications occurred in cases with P. falciparum. All patients were cured.