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Severe malaria: still counting the costs

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The cost of severe malaria

The burden of malaria in the developing world has largely been measured in terms of childhood mortality. Annually, 300–500 million infections occur resulting in 1 million deaths; these account for 20% of childhood mortality in malaria endemic regions.1 An article by Carter et al (this issue, pp 476–81) provides evidence that the burden of malaria includes chronic neurological consequences among survivors.2

The possibility that survivors of severe malaria suffer from neurological sequelae such as cognitive deficits or epilepsy has been suggested.3 Certainly, gross deficits at hospital discharge among a small proportion of survivors have been reported, …

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