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Nearly half of children in Kenya with common type of severe malaria affected neurologically

The JAMA Network Journals

Richard Idro, M.M.E.D., of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya and colleagues conducted a study to determine the incidence and neurological involvement of African children with acute falciparum malaria (a severe type of malaria). The study included 19,560 Kenyan children younger than 14 years with malaria. "Neurological involvement occurred in almost half of the children admitted with acute falciparum malaria and commonly manifested as seizures, prostration [a marked loss of strength, as in exhaustion], impaired consciousness, or coma. It was associated with increased mortality and neurological sequelae [abnormality following or resulting from a disease]. Although prostration may be a general feature of severe systemic illness, the occurrence of seizures in 60 percent of patients suggests frequent involvement of the central nervous system."

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(JAMA. 2007;297:2232-2240. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

To contact Richard Idro, M.M.E.D., email: ridro@kilifi.kemri-wellcome.org.

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