Department keeping close eye on malaria cases

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pretoria – The Department of Health says it is keeping close watch in Limpopo and Mpumalanga following the malaria outbreak in those provinces. 

The department on Wednesday said through district outbreak response meetings, it is able to monitor on a daily basis developments around malaria cases.

“There has been a high number of malaria cases in South Africa in the 2016/17 season, compared to the previous season. This has been attributed to the rise in ambient temperature, rainfall and humidity.

“The outbreaks were reported in Mopani and Vhembe districts (Limpopo) and in the Bushbuckridge sub-district of Mpumalanga in early May 2017,” the department said.

However, the department has reported a decline in the overall number of reported malaria cases in Mpumalanga and Limpopo over the past two weeks.

Take precautions against malaria

With the Kruger National Park being a known malaria risk area, the Health Department advised travellers to malaria transmission areas in South Africa, as well as to neighbouring countries, to take precautions against malaria.

“Any residents or travellers from both low and high malaria risk areas in South Africa, presenting with fever and flu-like symptoms, are strongly advised to attend a healthcare facility or see their doctor for a malaria test, even if chemoprophylaxis was taken.

“A negative malaria test must be treated cautiously and repeated. Any person with a travel history to a malaria risk area, who presents with fever and flu-like symptoms is unlikely to have influenza at this time since it is very early in the 2017 influenza season,” the department said. –

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