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close this bookGuidelines for the Treatment of Malaria (WHO; 2006; 266 pages) View the PDF document
View the documentGlossary
View the documentAbbreviations
open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
View the document2. The clinical disease
open this folder and view contents3. Treatment objectives
close this folder4. Diagnosis of malaria
View the document4.1 Clinical diagnosis
View the document4.2 Parasitological diagnosis
View the document4.3 Where malaria transmission is low to moderate and/or unstable
View the document4.4 In stable high-transmission settings
View the document4.5 Malaria parasite species identification
View the document4.6 In epidemics and complex emergencies
open this folder and view contents5. Resistance to antimalarial medicines9
open this folder and view contents6. Antimalarial treatment policy
open this folder and view contents7. Treatment of uncomplicated P. Falciparum malaria10
open this folder and view contents8. Treatment of severe falciparum malaria14
open this folder and view contents9. Treatment of malaria caused by P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae19
View the document10. Mixed malaria infections
open this folder and view contents11. Complex emergencies and epidemics
open this folder and view contentsAnnexes
 

4.1 Clinical diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of malaria are nonspecific. Malaria is clinically diagnosed mostly on the basis of fever or history of fever. The following WHO recommendations are still considered valid for clinical diagnosis.6

• In general, in settings where the risk of malaria is low, clinical diagnosis of uncomplicated malaria should be based on the degree of exposure to malaria and a history of fever in the previous 3 days with no features of other severe diseases.

In settings where the risk of malaria is high, clinical diagnosis should be based on a history of fever in the previous 24 h and/or the presence of anaemia, for which pallor of the palms appears to be the most reliable sign in young children.

6 WHO Expert Committee on Malaria. Twentieth report. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2000 (WHO Technical Report Series, No. 892).


The WHO/UNICEF strategy for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)7 has also developed practical algorithms for management of the sick child presenting with fever where there are no facilities for laboratory diagnosis.

7 IMCI information package, 1999. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1999 (document WHO/CHS/ CAH/98.1).

 

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