Diagnosis

General information on diagnosing malaria can be found on the CDC Malaria Diagnosis (United States) Web page

Laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis is made by detecting malaria parasites (or DNA) in the patient’s blood, through examining stained specimens with a light microscope (the gold standard), using various antigen test kits or using molecular methods (e.g., polymerase chain reaction (PCR)).

In the United States, CDC provides assistance to health care providers for diagnosis and management of suspected cases of malaria (contact the CDC Malaria Hotline or malaria@cdc.gov).

Military Malaria-Related Diagnostic Guidance and Tools

Disease Reporting

Malaria is a reportable disease to both civilian public health authorities in the U.S. and to the Military Health System (MHS):

  • In the MHS, reporting is required for all military healthcare system beneficiaries (e.g., service members, family members, retirees, civilian federal government employees). Guidance for case definition and reporting can be found on the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, Reports and Publications Web page. (Reportable Events guidelines can be found under the heading "Armed Forces Reportable Events" and case definitions can be found under the heading "Surveillance Case Definitions.")