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The malaria cases notified in October 2000 from Western Australia (Figure) were primarily among a boatload of 48 illegal entrants who arrived in the Kimberley via Ashmore Reef and were sent to Curtin Detention Centre. Among this group there were 9 falciparum cases, 7 vivax cases and a single combined falciparum/vivax infection. Three falciparum cases required hospital admission. Just prior to departing for Australia the group had spent 1 to 3 weeks on Sabo Island in Indonesia and it is assumed they were infected there as mosquitoes were prevalent and there was no mosquito control or antimalarial prophylaxis. (Information provided by Dr Gary Dowse, based on a report by Dr Richard Thomas, published in the Kimberley Public Health Bulletin, November 2000
Figure. Notification rate of malaria, Western Australia, 1 January 1991 to 30 November 2000, by month of notification).
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 24, No 12, December 2000.