Acute respiratory distress syndrome complicating Plasmodium vivax malaria

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Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, and severe respiratory complications have been described mainly in association with Plasmodium falciparum. We describe a case of acute respiratory distress syndrome complicating infection with P. vivax in the setting of relatively low parasitemia in a 47-yr-old woman after a brief trip to Papua New Guinea. A review of the literature shows that pulmonary complications of P. vivax are rare but occur more frequently than generally acknowledged. Pathogenic mechanisms of these complications are discussed.

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