Case Definition

A person presenting with a history of fever within the preceeding 2-3 days, or found to have fever on examination (axillary temperature ³ 37.5°C or rectal temperature ³38.5°C), in the absence of any other cause will be considered a suspected case of malaria. In the absence of signs of severe disease, a case of suspected malaria confirmed by parasitological investigation is considered to be "uncomplicated" malaria.


Signs and symptoms

The patient suffering from suspected uncomplicated malaria commonly complains of:

  • fever or a history of fever within the preceding 2-3 days
  • chills (feeling unusually cold)
  • rigors (shivering)
  •  headache


Other clinical features may include:

  • generalised body and joint pain
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • sweating
  • abdominal pain (especially in children)
  • bitterness in the mouth
  • irritability and refusal to feed (in infants)

These features may occur separately or in combination. The presentation of malaria varies and may resemble other locally important disease such as pneumonia, meningitis, enteric fever or septicaemia.

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