The aim of this study was to assess the clinical profile, severity and complications of patients suffering from malaria in Mangaluru, a southwestern coastal city in India. A total of 579 patients, who were treated at the District Wenlock Hospital, Mangaluru, and 168 healthy controls were recruited in this study. The clinical profile, haematological and biochemical parameters, and disease complications were assessed. The majority of patients were treated as outpatients and patients who had severe clinical conditions were admitted to the hospital for treatment and supportive care. Among the total 579 patients recruited in this study, the distribution of P. vivax, P. falciparum and mixed infections were 364 (62.9%), 150 (25.9%) and 65 (11.2%), respectively. Among these, 506 (87.4%) had mild malaria, whereas 73 (12.6%) had severe malaria. Overall, the clinical features and severity of malaria in P. vivax and mixed infection patients were comparable to P. falciparum patients, albeit with some significant differences. The clinical complications in severe malaria cases included thrombocytopenia (50.7%), metabolic acidosis (30.1%), severe anaemia (26.0%), jaundice (21.9%), hepatic dysfunction (15.1%), acute renal failure (6.8%), haematuria (8.2%), hypotension (9.6%), cerebral malaria (1.4%) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (1.4%). All the patients with severe malaria recruited in our study were successfully treated and discharged. Majority of patients had mild malaria, likely due to seeking treatment soon after experiencing symptoms and/or having preexisting immune protection. However, a significant number of patients had severe malaria and required hospital admission indicating that there is a substantial need for creating awareness among vulnerable immigrant population. Implementing effective surveillance and vector control measures in malaria hotspot locations in the city and educating people about preventive measures are likely to reduce the malaria burden in this endemic region.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science
- Infectious Diseases