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CMAJ. 1997 April 15; 156(8): 1165–1167.
PMCID: PMC1227244

Fatal falciparum malaria in Canadian travellers


The authors report 2 cases of severe falciparum malaria in Canadians that had fatal outcomes. In the first case a man presented to a local hospital shortly after returning from Africa, but a diagnosis of malaria was not considered. He was transferred to a secondary and then to a tertiary care facility, where he subsequently died. Intravenous quinidine therapy, the treatment of choice, was unavailable at all 3 hospitals. In the second case, a woman taking chloroquine prophylaxis while visiting Nigeria developed cerebral malaria and died. These cases illustrate critical management issues: appropriate advice on malaria prevention before departure; consideration of malaria in all febrile people returning from an endemic area; ready access to parenteral therapy for severe malaria in Canadian hospitals; and an increase in awareness of travel medicine among family physicians.

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