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      The global distribution of clinical episodes of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

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      Nature

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Interest in mapping the global distribution of malaria is motivated by a need to define populations at risk for appropriate resource allocation and to provide a robust framework for evaluating its global economic impact. Comparison of older and more recent malaria maps shows how the disease has been geographically restricted, but it remains entrenched in poor areas of the world with climates suitable for transmission. Here we provide an empirical approach to estimating the number of clinical events caused by Plasmodium falciparum worldwide, by using a combination of epidemiological, geographical and demographic data. We estimate that there were 515 (range 300-660) million episodes of clinical P. falciparum malaria in 2002. These global estimates are up to 50% higher than those reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and 200% higher for areas outside Africa, reflecting the WHO's reliance upon passive national reporting for these countries. Without an informed understanding of the cartography of malaria risk, the global extent of clinical disease caused by P. falciparum will continue to be underestimated.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nature
          Nature
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          0028-0836
          1476-4687
          March 2005
          March 2005
          : 434
          : 7030
          : 214-217
          Article
          10.1038/nature03342
          3128492
          15759000
          a85202b4-b713-4341-9472-d24ca0cda00f
          © 2005

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