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The relationship between malaria morbidity and parasitemia


, : The relationship between malaria morbidity and parasitemia. Amer Jour Hyg 37(2): 164-172

It is believed that malaria prevalence indicated by blood-film surveys underestimates the actual occurrence due to the host-parasite relationships involved in human malaria. The purpose of this analysis is to determine what correlation exists between reported malaria morbidity and periodic blood-film surveys. Morbidity reports were secured by a public health nurse or a physician who made weekly visits to all the homes in 3 areas of the Tennessee Valley. Blood films were made from persons who claimed illness due to malaria and routine blood surveys were made on the entire population in Apr., Aug. and Oct., 1939 and 1940. In both instances, the posi-tiveness of the films declined with elapsed time after the report of illness. Very little correlation existed between the results of repeated surveys, or between reported morbidity and subsequent blood-film surveys. A more general correlation was attempted and the suggestion was made that for white persons there may be a definite relation between the observed survey index and the % of individuals who did not demonstrate parasitism but who had reported illness. A catalytic curve is proposed as the possible trend of this correlation. To establish this curve additional data are needed from situations where higher parasite indexes exist. A similar correlation for Negroes did not show any tendency for morbidity-reporting to change with different survey indexes.

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