Korean J Pediatr Infect Dis.  2003 Nov;10(2):200-207. 10.14776/kjpid.2003.10.2.200.

Clinical Features of Indigenous Vivax Malaria in Children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Inje University, Goyang, Korea. chonglee@ilsanpaik.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Clinical Pathology, College of Medicine, Inje University, Goyang, Korea.


Malaria is known to have been eradicated for a few decades through persistent national health program in South Korea. However, malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax has started to reappear incidiously among military personnel near to DMZ since 1993. After then, the number of malarial cases have been increased abruptly year by year. We analyzed the children of indigenous malaria who were diagnosed by peripheral blood smear and malarial antibody test with regards to epidemiologic and clinical manifestations.
The study 13 cases below 15 years of age, who were confirmed as vivax malaria during from January 2000 to August 2003. We retrospectively analyzed epidemiologic data, clinical manifestations, laboratory findings and therapeutic responses.
All of 13 cases were indigenous and tested positive for Plasmodium vivax. Of 13 patients, 9 were male and 4 were female. Mean age of onset was 9.5±3.6 years old. Ilsan(n=9) was the most prevalent area, the most patients(n=11) were presented in summer (from June to August). A characteristic feature of periodic 3 day fever in patients with P.vivax infection was reported in only 2 among 13 cases. Thrombocytopenia was most prominent findings, which was accompanied by 12 of 13 patients and pancytopenia was appeared in 3 patients on this study. The therapeutic responses of hydroxycholoquine were very good in all cases, and abnormal laboratory findings were recovered and no relapse during follow-up period.
Vivax malaria is indigenous in Korea near to DMZ, but recently endemic area seemed to be extended southward. Plasmodium vivax is the cause of indigenous malaria of children. As for children with high fever accompanying thrombocytopenia in endemic area of Korea, malaria must be included in differential diagnosis whether the type of fewer is periodic 3 day fever or not. Malaria antibody test is helpful as a screening test for malaria.


Indigenous malaria; Plasmodium vivax; Malaria antibody test
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