He continued to have fever despite 2 weeks of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and was transferred to Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA, for further evaluation. Our differential diagnosis included malaria, typhoid, typhus, leptospirosis, relapsing fever, and tuberculosis. On examination, the patient complained of chills, and thick and thin blood smears were immediately obtained. Both revealed 1% parasitemia with gametocytes of GSI-IX research buy Plasmodium vivax. The patient was treated with mefloquine 1,200 mg PO once and primaquine 15 mg PO daily for 2 weeks. At follow-up, his symptoms had completely resolved. Vector-borne
and environmentally acquired infections are a threat to all travelers to endemic locations, but military personnel are at
elevated risk because of the duration and intensity of environmental exposure. An analysis of 17,353 travelers revealed that the majority, around 64%, present with symptoms of infection within the first month of travel.1 However, this analysis did not Z VAD FMK include military personnel. When evaluating fever in military personnel, a careful history should include country and terrain of any deployments, both recent and distant. Malaria represents one of the most important infectious disease threats to deployed military forces; 15 of the last 17 major or minor military deployments were to malarious locations. Afghanistan has large endemic areas of malaria, especially below 2,000 m above sea-level.2 This disease has reemerged in the north-eastern river valleys used for
growing rice because of lapsed control measures, intensified agricultural activity, and returning refugees,3 with an annual incidence of 240 per 1,000 people around Jalalabad, where our patient was exposed.4 In 2004, the attack rate of troops deployed to Afghanistan was 52.4 cases per 1,000 soldiers.5 Malaria has also been reported in both British and German soldiers returning from Afghanistan.6,7 In 2004, P. vivax infection acquired in Afghanistan accounted for 25% of the 56 cases of malaria diagnosed among US Army soldiers. Soldiers presented for care weeks to 20 months after return to the United States.8 oxyclozanide The median time to diagnosis of malaria in returning Army Rangers was 233 days.5 Vivax malaria presented in German soldiers as late as 9 months after return from Afghanistan.7 This report highlights the importance of a high index of suspicion for tropical infections in returning military personnel; it also underscores an important feature of malaria infection, the possibility of delayed presentation. Low index of suspicion in patients presenting long after exposure is further complicated by the poor sensitivity of malaria smears when trained and experienced microscopists are not readily available; malaria was suspected at the regional hospital but smears were read as negative, delaying the initiation of appropriate treatment.