Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in endemic areas, leading to an estimated 438,000 deaths in 2015. Malaria is also an important health threat to travelers to endemic countries and should be considered in evaluation of any traveler returning from a malaria-endemic area who develops fever. Considering the diagnosis of malaria in patients with potential exposure is critical. Prompt provision of effective treatment limits the complications of malaria and can be life-saving. Understanding Plasmodium species variation, epidemiology, and drug-resistance patterns in the geographic area where infection was acquired is important for determining treatment choices.
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