Heavy Density of Plasmodium Falciparum Parasites in Malaria

Report of a Case

Arthur N. Springall Medical Service, Gorgas Hospital, Ancon, C. Z.

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In estivo-autumnal malaria, no limit is apparent to the maximum density of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in the blood (1). During the fiscal year 1941–1942, from a total of 1,430 cases of estivo-autumnal malaria treated in Gorgas Hospital, only two cases showed 20 per cent or more of the red blood cells infected with parasites. This paper is to report one of those cases, which showed a very high density of parasites.

CASE REPORT J. T., a 66 year old black male, was admitted to Gorgas Hospital in a moribund condition. He lived in an outlying district, which was heavily infested with malaria. All the information obtainable was that he had had fever and had vomited numerous times during the preceding three days.

Physical examination showed an aged black male, dehydrated and moribund. The temperature, pulse rate, and respirations were normal. The blood pressure was 128 mm. of mercury systolic, 86 mm. of mercury diastolic.

Author Notes

Captain, Medical Corps., U. S. Army.