Acute febrile disease in the tropics and sub-tropics has often been considered to be due to malaria and treated as such. As accurate diagnosis for malaria, based on rapid diagnostic tests, is rolled out across malaria-endemic regions, it is becoming increasingly apparent that most fevers are due to other causes. By ‘acute febrile syndrome’ in this context we mean causes of acute fever and related symptoms that are similar to malaria. These are usually due to infection, resulting from a wide variety of pathogens.
Febrile malaria is the most common clinical manifestation of P. falciparum infection, and is often the primary endpoint in clinical trials and epidemiological studies.