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Kruger Park malaria warning

By Shenaaz Jamal | 2017-05-18 16:43:07.0

Kruger National Park has warned visitors that malaria seems to be on the brink of an outbreak despite the winter season.

The parks management has warned visitors to take precautionary measures against malaria before visiting the park and said although classified as a low risk area it is situated in a malaria area.

“Due to the heavy rain received this year‚ there are pools of water in abundance everywhere and the park is experiencing malaria cases especially in the northern part of the park‚” said SANParks acting head of communications‚ William Mabasa.

Mabasa added that some of the country’s provinces reported hundreds of people had been admitted and tested positive for the disease in hospitals.

 “We advise visitors to take precautions including the use of prophylaxes and vaccinations in consultation with their doctors to prevent the possibility of contracting malaria as Kruger National Park is known to be one of the malaria endemic areas in this country‚” Mabasa said.

Masaba said other precautions to be taken by visitors include the use of repellants on the skin‚ keeping the gauze door and windows closed and also ensuring these are not broken‚ as well as spraying the inside of the hut/bungalow with insecticide. Doing so could significantly reduce the risk of contracting malaria in the park.

 He also noted that although malaria can be contracted at any time of the year the malaria season in the country is October to April‚ with March and April the highest risk period. However this year seems to be slightly different.

 “With winter approaching‚ mosquitoes which are carriers of the parasite causing malaria‚ should begin to hibernate and the situation shall possibly improve‚” said Mabasa.