BACKGROUND: This study describes patterns of falciparum and vivax malaria in a private comprehensive-care, multi-specialty hospital in New Delhi from July 2006 to July 2008. METHODS: Malarial morbidity by Plasmodium species (Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, or Plasmodium sp.) was confirmed using microscopy and antigen tests. The influence of seasonal factors and selected patient demographics on morbidity was evaluated. The proportions of malaria cases caused by P. falciparum at the private facility were compared to data from India's National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) during the same period for the Delhi region. RESULTS: In New Delhi, P. faciparum was the dominant cause of cases requiring treatment in the private hospital during the period examined. The national data reported a smaller proportion of malaria cases caused by P. falciparum in the national capital region than was observed in a private facility within the region. Plasmodium vivax also caused a large proportion of the cases presenting clinically at the private hospital during the summer and monsoon seasons. CONCLUSION: The proportion of P. falciparum malaria cases tends to be greatest during the post-monsoon season while the proportion of P. vivax malaria cases tends to be greatest in the monsoon season. Private hospital data demonstrate an under-reporting of malaria case incidences in the data from India's national surveillance programme during the same period for the national capital region.
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