Raeesa Kimmie
2 minute read
1 Nov 2017
11:04 am

Government issues Malaria warning for Limpopo and Mpumalanga

Raeesa Kimmie

All travellers to malaria risk areas must take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, and medication to prevent malaria should be highly considered.

Stock image

In a statement released by the national department of health, it says high numbers of malaria cases are being reported in Vhembe and Mopani, which are considered malaria transmission areas, Review Online reports.

Some cases have also been reported on farms along the Lephalale River in the Waterberg district and in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

This follows what the department says has been a very busy 2017 malaria season in the entire southern African region, which peaked in April and May and extended into June.

“High rainfall, humidity and ambient temperatures provided ideal conditions for malaria mosquito breeding and contributed to an increase in malaria cases,” said Popo Maja, head of communications for the national department of health.

Unusually mild winter temperatures in malaria areas have allowed for ongoing mosquito and parasite development, and led to an early and busy malaria season that started already in August 2017.

READ MORE: Malaria patient dies in Gauteng

The department has therefore urged 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, to have an urgent blood test and malaria treated as a medical emergency.

Misdiagnosis of malaria as influenza is not uncommon with disastrous consequences in a number of persons.

The department says early treatment of malaria cases is a key strategy.

The antimalarial drug, Coartem, remains highly effective in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria, provided there is early diagnosis and urgent commencement of treatment.

Maja says the department of health is ensuring universal coverage of key interventions.

“This includes Indoor Residual Spraying, effective case management and ensuring that health promotion messages reach communities at risk of contracting the disease,” Maja concluded.

READ MORE

Malaria patient dies in Gauteng

– Caxton News Service

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