Malaria on the rise in Limpopo and Mpumalanga
High numbers of malaria cases are being reported in parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in an alert posted on Tuesday that affected areas included the Vhembe and Mopani districts in Limpopo‚ in addition to some farms along the Lephalala River in Waterberg‚ and in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.
“Compared to previous years‚ a modest increase in cases in the Kruger National Park and private reserves in the area has been confirmed‚” said the alert.
It has been a busy 2017 malaria season in the southern African region‚ which peaked in April and May and extended into June. High rainfall‚ humidity and ambient temperatures had provided ideal conditions for malaria mosquito breeding.
“Travellers from‚ or residents of malaria transmission areas in Limpopo and Mpumalanga‚ and the far northern KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring countries such as Mozambique‚ Botswana‚ Zimbabwe and Namibia who present with fever and ‘flu-like’ illness must have an urgent blood test and malaria treated as a medical emergency‚” said the alert.
South Africa’s health department is ensuring that affected areas are sprayed with long-acting residual insecticides and affected communities are made aware of the risks of contracting the disease.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes‚ which generally bite at night. It is preventable‚ treatable and curable.
Symptoms‚ which appear 10 to 5 days after being bitten‚ include fever‚ headache‚ chills and vomiting.