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Transfusion Malaria in the United States, 1972-1981

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Malaria Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control; Atlanta, GA 30333.

Atlanta, Georgia

Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(2):221-226. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-99-2-221
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Twenty-six cases of transfusion-induced malaria were reported in the United States from 1972 through 1981. In nine patients malaria was due to Plasmodium malariae; eight, P. falciparum; eight, P. vivax; and one, P. ovale. Four patients died. The estimated rate of transfusion malaria for this period was 0.25 cases per million donor units collected. Of the 18 cases in which a specific infective blood donor could be identified, at least nine of the donors should have been rejected for blood donation because of recent residence or travel to a malarious area. Among 17 patients for whom the national origin of the implicated blood donor was reported, 12 were born in malarious countries. We propose minor changes in donor procedures and standards, including stricter criteria for donors born in malarious countries. Potential donors should be deferred for 3 years after an unexplained febrile illness occurring 1 year after exposure to malaria.


malaria ; transfusion





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