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Exams and Tests
Doctors use thick and thin blood smears to determine whether malaria-causing parasites are present in your blood. These tests should be done if you have been in a region where malaria is present, were exposed to mosquitoes, and have developed flu-like symptoms.
A blood test that can diagnose malaria rapidly also is available. If this rapid test indicates a person has malaria, the results are usually confirmed with a blood smear.
Other useful tests that may be done include:
Other tests being developed to diagnose malaria include genetic tests or other blood tests that highlight parasites by using special stains. These experimental tests are not as easy to do and are not as frequently used as blood smears.
In the United States, malaria is an infectious disease that must be reported to the local or state health department.
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