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by Symptom Advice on March 14, 2012

Published on: Mar 07 2012 09:10:53 PM EST  Updated on: Mar 08 2012 10:05:38 AM EST

South Florida doctor seeing cases of malaria


Dr. Ian Russinoff, an ER doctor with Broward General Medical Center has recently seen a few cases of malaria.

“I wouldn’t say we have a increased incidence of malaria but it needs to be something that’s kept on our radar because sometimes it’s a hard diagnosis to pinpoint and it’s potentially fatal,” Russinoff said.

Malaria is caused by a parasite that is passed from one person to another through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Malaria can also be transmitted from a mother to her unborn baby and through blood transfusions.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, joint pain, nausea, sweating vomiting and fever.

The fever’s tend to come in cycles.  It’s going to come about every six hours,” said Russinoff.

A diagnosis is confirmed through blood work

“Once these parasites migrate to the liver you will get some break down of red blood cells which relates to the anemia we see in some of the lab findings,” Russinoff said.

Malaria is most common in tropical and subtropical areas and though not typical in the U.S., it has been introduced here from infected mosquitos that are transported into the country via airplanes.

Malaria will not resolve on it’s own and needs to be treated with antibiotics.

“It’s like any other infection if it runs its course and affects other parts of the body so it could be very serious,” said Russinoff.

Before traveling to warm climates outside the U.S., including the Caribbean, check with your doctor about taking an anti-malaria medication to prevent infection. d

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