Volume 97, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Malaria has been a military problem throughout history capable of causing epidemics that stop military operations. Individual mortality was examined from records of the three major wars of the 20th century that involved Australia in which 133 (1914–1919), 92 (1943–1945), and two (1965–1967) soldiers are known to have died with malaria. Those dying were predominately enlisted soldiers with a mean age of 29 years often complicated by other infections such as influenza, pneumonia or scrub typhus. Lethal epidemics of falciparum malaria occurred in Palestine/Syria in October 1918 and New Guinea in September 1943 to March 1944. Although no Australian soldier has died in nearly 50 years from malaria, there were three serious falciparum infections in soldiers in East Timor 1999–2000 who might have died if intensive care had not been provided. Recent military deployments into Africa including United Nations contingents still show falciparum malaria’s lethality despite the availability of effective malaria chemoprophylaxis.


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  • Received : 12 Sep 2016
  • Accepted : 21 Apr 2017
  • Published online : 12 Jun 2017
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