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Abstract

Airport malaria is uncommon but increasing in Europe and often difficult to diagnose. We describe the clinical, epidemiological and environmental investigations of a cluster of airport malaria cases and measures taken in response. Three Frankfurt International Airport employees without travel histories to malaria-endemic areas were diagnosed with malaria in Germany in 2022. Two cases were diagnosed within 1 week, and the third one after 10 weeks. Two cases had severe disease, all three recovered fully. The cases worked in separate areas and no specific location for the transmissions could be identified. No additional cases were detected among airport employees. In June and July, direct flights from Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Angola and one parcel originating in Ghana arrived at Frankfurt airport. No vector-competent mosquitoes could be trapped to identify the source of the outbreak. Whole genome sequencing of genomes showed a high genetic relatedness between samples of the three cases and suggested the geographical origin closest to Ghana. A diagnosis of airport malaria should prompt appropriate and comprehensive outbreak investigations to identify the source and to prevent severe forms of falciparum malaria.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.5.2300298
2024-02-01
2024-06-15
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.5.2300298
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