National case definition: Malaria


Date of last revision/review: May 2008

National notification

Only confirmed cases of disease should be notified.

Type of surveillance

Routine case-by-case notification to the federal level

Case classification

Confirmed case

Laboratory confirmation of infection with or without clinical evidence of infection:

Probable case

Laboratory confirmation of infection with or without clinical evidence of infection:

It should be noted that

Clinical evidence

Signs and symptoms vary; however, most patients experience fever. In addition to fever, common associated symptoms include headache, back pain, chills, sweats, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cough. Severe untreated malaria can lead to coma, seizures, renal failure, pulmonary edema and death.

ICD code(s)

ICD-10 code(s): B50, B51, B52, B53, B54

ICD-9 code(s): 084

Type of international reporting

Elimination or eradication efforts should be reported.


Malaria cases are subdivided into the following categories:

It should be noted that the WHO requires different case classification. In areas with access to laboratory-based diagnosis, the WHO classifies malaria case as asymptomatic malaria, confirmed uncomplicated malaria, confirmed severe malaria and confirmed malaria death.

Probable case definitions are provided as guidelines to assist with case finding and public health management, and are not for national notification purposes.


Case definitions for diseases under national surveillance. CCDR 2000;26(S3).

Retrieved May 2008, from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Case definitions for infectious conditions under public health surveillance. MMWR 1997;46(No. RR-10):22-3.

World Health Organization. Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response (October 1999). WHO Recommended Surveillance Standards. 2nd ed. WHO/CDS/CSR/ISR/99.2. Retrieved May 29, 2007, from

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