Probable autochthonous Plasmodium vivax malaria transmission in Michigan: case report and epidemiological investigation.

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  • 1 Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center, Dearborn, Michigan, USA.

In September 1995, a Michigan resident with no history of international travel was diagnosed with Plasmodium vivax infection, and local mosquito-borne transmission was suspected. An epidemiological investigation did not identify additional cases of local transmission, and there was no apparent link to the 12 imported malaria cases detected in the region. Potential sites of nighttime outdoor exposure included a campground in a swampy area, close to a racetrack frequented by international travelers, some of whom were known to come from countries with malaria transmission. Entomological investigation identified Anopheles spp. larvae and adults near the campsite. Summer temperatures 4.2 degrees C above average would have contributed to shortened maturation time of P. vivax within the insect vector, increasing the likelihood of infectivity. These investigations indicated that this patient probably acquired P. vivax infection through the bite of a locally infected Anopheles spp. mosquito. Physicians need to consider malaria as a possible cause of unexplained febrile illness, even in the absence of international travel, particularly during the summer months.

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