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No malaria outbreak in Joburg - NICD

By admin
24 January 2014

There is no malaria outbreak in parts of Johannesburg despite two people contracting it, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Friday.

"There is currently no outbreak of malaria in Lenasia, Eldorado Park and Ennerdale as has been rumoured," the NICD said in a statement.

"There is also no scientific basis that drinking water is a source of malaria."

The institute said malaria was confirmed two weeks ago in two patients, one in Eldorado Park and the other in Lenasia. Neither of them had travelled to an area with malaria.

"These infections were likely acquired through the bite of an infected imported mosquito, which likely travelled in a suitcase or vehicle to the area," it said.

"These are rare... incidents as mosquitoes are unlikely to survive such journeys."

The institute said both patients had responded well to treatment.

"Extensive investigations have been conducted in the area and no malaria mosquitoes have been found."

Malaria risk areas include the Vhembe district in Limpopo, northern KwaZulu-Natal and the Lowveld areas in Mpumalanga.

The NICD said most South African travellers who get malaria contract it in Mozambique.

Malaria is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It cannot be transmitted through drinking water or contact with water. Malaria is also not spread from person to person, it said.

"Tap water in Johannesburg is safe and carries no risk."