A Dangerous Default to Malaria Drugs

In malaria endemic areas, children who have fever are often presumed to have the disease—but a new study found that another mosquito-borne disease—dengue—was often the culprit.
 
The Emerging Infectious Diseases study found that of 1,000 Kenyan children ill with fever, over 40% were infected with dengue virus.
 
Yet many children with dengue, and not malaria, were given antimalarials and antimicrobials, raising concern about unnecessary treatments needlessly driving drug resistance. There is no specific treatment for dengue, Healio reports..
 
Parallels between the Kenya study sample and other studies from Asia and Southeast Asia suggest strains are being spread along trade routes.
 
The findings underscore the need for rapid point-of-care dengue diagnostics and better surveillance of the disease across Africa, says lead author Melisa M. Shah ofStanford Medicine.

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