Spatial decision support systems have already proved their value in helping to reduce infectious diseases but to be effective they need to be designed to reflect local circumstances and local data availability. We report the first stage of a project to develop a spatial decision support system for infectious diseases for Karnataka State in India. The focus of this paper is on malaria incidence and we draw on small area data on new cases of malaria analysed in two-monthly time intervals over the period February 2012 to January 2016 for Kalaburagi taluk, a small area in Karnataka. We report the results of data mapping and cluster detection (identifying areas of excess risk) including evaluating the temporal persistence of excess risk and the local conditions with which high counts are statistically associated. We comment on how this work might feed into a practical spatial decision support system.