Transmission of Malaria in Drug Addicts by Intravenous Use of Narcotics

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  • Departments of Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center and the State Charity Hospital, New Orleans, La.

The question of the transmission of malaria in drug addicts was first brought to our attention at Charity Hospital by the admission and subsequent death of six comatosed drug addicts with malaria within a thirty-four day period, October 31 to December 4, 1932.

The first of these patients was admitted on October 31 in a comatosed condition. He deserted on November 1, probably for more drug, and was readmitted on November 3, again in coma. He died on November 4, 1932. The subsequent fatal admissions occurred November 13, 17, 22, 29 and December 2, 1932.

A study of the records of Charity Hospital revealed only two admissions with a diagnosis of malaria and drug addiction prior to October 31, 1932. One case was admitted in 1923 and the other in 1926.

During the eleven-month period of October 31, 1932 to September 30, 1933, there were 48 admissions with this diagnosis.