Volume 47, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Malaria at an elevation of 1,500 meters is uncommon and is usually unstable when it occurs. To confirm reports of a recent increase in transmission of stable malaria in the Oksibil Valley, which is at an elevation of 1,250–1,500 meters in the Jayawijaya Mountains of Irian Jaya, Indonesia, five malariometric surveys were conducted in four villages between May 1990 and July 1991. A total of 3,380 blood smears, representative of 1,949 persons, was examined. Prevalence rates over the survey period were consistent in each of the four villages, averaging 10% for infants, 50% for children 1–4 years of age, 35% for those 5–9 years old, 28% for those 10–14 years old, and 16% for adults (> 15 years old). The spleen rate for the those less than five years old was 96%, with an average enlarged spleen score of 2.32. accounted for 55% of the infections in the valley, but was the predominant species in those less than 10 years old. In the village of Kutdol at an elevation of 1,500 meters, was identified in 43% of the positive smears. Four cases were diagnosed as . Infection with without obvious clinical symptoms was common in both adults and children. Entomologic and epidemiologic data suggested that the recent upsurge in transmission coincided with the replacement of traditional village huts with the more modern social housing. This replacement required the extensive construction of drainage ditches, which inadvertently also served as additional vector breeding sites. We suspect that this manipulation of the environment, in an effort to improve the quality of life, created conditions conducive for heightened transmission of stable malaria.


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