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Imported malaria is stable from Africa but declining from Asia

Camilla Holten Møller & Kim David From: Department of Infectious Diseases, Hvidovre Hospital


In this study, we describe patients with imported malaria seen at the Department of Infectious Diseases (DID), Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark. Our aim was to address possible risk factors for contracting malaria and risk factors for developing complicated malaria.


We searched patient databases for all cases of malaria seen at the DID from 1994 to 2012. Various parameters were registered.


A total of 320 cases were identified. We found a significant 3.39 % decrease in the incidence of cases per year (p = 0.0008). Plasmodium falciparum infection was predominant
(n = 217) followed by P. vivax infection (n = 76). 37% of all cases were Africans visiting relatives and friends (VRF). A total of 12 patients had one or more relapses of their P. vivax infection. In all, 53 (17%) cases were defined as severe malaria. 36% (n = 112) reported using some type of chemoprophylaxis. 14% (n = 26) of patients traveling to Africa in 1999-2012 reported taking chemoprophylaxis as recommended in the current guidelines. Complicated malaria was significantly associated with failure to take any chemoprophylaxis (p = 0.0317, χ2-test).


Imported malaria is decreasing at the DID. The patients who carry the highest risk of imported malaria are ethnic Africans who travel as VRF without using chemoprophylaxis. Recrudescence from P. vivax malaria is a substantial risk. Complicated malaria is associated with failure to take any chemoprophylaxis. It is important that travelers receive expedient advice on the use of efficient chemoprophylaxis to bring down the number of imported malaria cases.


Not relevant.


Not relevant.

CORRESPONDENCE: Camilla Holten Møller. E-mail:

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at

REFERENCE: Dan Med J 2014;61(5):A4827

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