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Imported malaria cases hugely under-estimated

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Cases of childhood malaria being imported to the British Isles are drastically underestimated, suggests latest research.

The findings of a British Paediatric Surveillance Unit study suggest the reported number of cases, currently being imported malaria in the UK and Republic of Ireland, is being under-estimated by around 25%.

The vast majority of cases occur in children of immigrant families who were born in the UK and Ireland and travel to their parents’ country of origin – primarily West Africa – without taking medication to prevent malaria.

This is particularly concerning because most cases of malaria in Africa are caused by Plasmodium Falciparum, which is responsible for all severe cases and deaths due to malaria, researchers will say this week at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health annual scientific meeting in York.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Is this not of great concern from a public health perspective?
    Are the DOH developing any stratagies to better monitor and control these malaria cases?
    I do hope so.

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