Our 2 year old son was exposed and bitten about 10 times on Friday, 21st of Ocober in Malindi, Kenya. This was our last day in Kenya after 3 days on the coast preceded by 4 in Masai Mara. On October 28, our son started vomiting. This lasted a day. He did not have a fever at the time. The doctor diagnosed him with rota virus. Our 2 year old took his last dose of Malarone on the same day the vomiting started.
We believe he did not keep it down. Since the doctor visit our son has developed a cough and has had a low constant 38 C fever for a day and a half. Given the risk of a small child to malaria, is there any reason we should not request a blood test for Malaria?
Generally speaking, coughing is not a common symptom of malaria, and fever more usually comes in cycles, so the clinical presentation suggests that your son may be suffering from another illness.
However, as you say, small children are particularly at risk from malaria, so I would say it is worth getting a blood test for malaria, to be on the safe side. It only requires fingerprick blood, and the results can be available very quickly.
It is also important to remember that Malarone (including Malarone Paediatric, the version marketing for children over 11kg in weight) should be taken for 7 days AFTER leaving a malarial area, to prevent latent stages of malaria developing into a full infection.
With small children, other preventative measures are also especially important, such as sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet, wearing long sleeved clothing in the evenings and early mornings and using insect repellent on exposed skin.