How are blood smears examined for malaria?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

When reading a smear, 200-300 oil-immersion fields should be examined (more if the patient recently has taken prophylactic medication, because this temporarily may decrease parasitemia). One negative smear does not exclude malaria as a diagnosis; several more smears should be examined over a 36-hour period.


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