Objective. To review the experience of a large children's hospital and two community hospitals in Chicago in which malaria was diagnosed in children during a recent 6-year period.
Methods. Retrospective medical record review covering the years 1985 to 1990.
Results. Twenty cases of childhood malaria were diagnosed, generally in patients hospitalized for fever unresponsive to oral antibiotics also associated with splenomegaly, with presumptive diagnoses of malignancy, typhoid fever, acute appendicitis, or urinary tract infection. History of recent immigration to the United States or travel to a malaria-endemic area was frequently not elicited until several days into hospitalization, thus delaying diagnosis and therapy.
Conclusions. Because malaria in the United States pediatric population has increased as a result of foreign immigration and overseas travel, pediatricians must be alert to the possibility of malaria in febrile children, and the importance of antimalarial prophylaxis should be communicated to parents of children traveling to endemic areas.
- Received August 24, 1992.
- Accepted January 5, 1993.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics