Last week, a boy aged just two years old was admitted into the Emergency Room in Laniado Hospital’s Children’s Division with a high fever and diarrhea.
During the initial examination, the boy was very pale and was breathing laboriously.
He had just returned from a visit to Ethiopia and doctors began to suspect that this could be something much more serious than the flu. Following the results from the laboratory, Dr. Nechama Sharon, a paediatric hematologist, and Dr. Uri Rubinstein, a pediatric infectious diseases expert, were consulted. Their initial diagnosis of malaria was confirmed by an examination conducted by Dr. Yosef Glick, director of the laboratories and his staff. Urgent steps were immediately taken against the life-threatening disease.
Three weeks ago another malaria patient was admitted to the General Intensive Care Unit who was released in a good condition after a long and difficult treatment. He had also visited his ailing grandmother in Ethiopia with his mother. Whilst they had been vaccinated, they did not have malaria prophylaxis (a preventative treatment against malaria). The boy and his mother were in a village infested with Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria.
Upon their return to Israel, the child began to develop a fever and diarrhea. He is now being treated with anti-malarial drugs in the Children's Division at Laniado headed by Dr. Yaakov Schechter.
Dr. Rubinstein warns that every year about 800,000 people throughout the world are struck with malaria. About 250,000 of them, mostly children in Africa, die from the disease. Symptoms include high fever, chills, headaches, sweating, and sometimes diarrhea. Malaria may affect the circulatory system, kidneys, lungs and brain. Since these symptoms can appear in normal viral diseases, it is important to be alert to the possibility of malaria among hikers returning from malaria-infected countries.
It is highly recommended to consult with the travelers clinic before leaving for developing countries.