Reported cases of malaria in the north of Portugal (1993-2002).

Luís Castro, Ana Isabel Cardoso, Laurinda Queirós, Guilherme Gonçalves


The aim of this study is to provide epidemiological evidence useful to Portuguese health services dealing with prevention and treatment of malaria. Two sources of data were used: the computer database of statutory notifiable diseases and the reports of cases studied by local health authorities. The 140 cases of malaria reported between 1993 and 2002 in the North of Portugal are described. For the 26 available reports of cases occurred between 2000 and 2002 additional variables are described. The incidence rates of malaria, estimated for the period 1993-2002, respectively for Portugal and its Northern Region, were 0,74 and 0,45 per 100,000 persons-year. Incidence was stable across the studied period. Most cases were males aged 15 to 64. Most cases with laboratory confirmation were due to Plasmodium falciparum. Clinical picture, travelling details and preventive measures, namely chemoprophylaxis, were also described. All cases were imported, mostly from Portuguese speaking African countries. The usefulness of reporting cases of malaria and conducting the respective study was discussed.

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