Malaria kills two in Limpopo

2011-01-03 21:14

Johannesburg - Two siblings died from malaria in Mopane at the weekend, the Limpopo health department said on Monday.

The pair were believed to be between 9-years-old and 13-years-old, said spokesman Cecil Motsepe.

"They were admitted into Malamulele hospital over the weekend, diagnosed with malaria and treated... but they sadly died."

The gender of the siblings was not yet known.

The entire family was tested and found to be negative.

"We will be thoroughly investigating how they contracted the virus," said Motsepe.

The department said it had seen a slight increase in malaria cases in the province over the past week but could not release any figures.

It had been carrying out a provincial programme to help prevent such diseases.

"We are carrying out a spray programme and have targeted 960 000 households to be sprayed," Motsepe said.

So far, 40 000 homes had been sprayed.

"We are dispatching a team immediately to the area where the siblings came from so that all the homes there can be sprayed," said Motsepe.

"Malaria is treatable but 90% of the time people treat it too late. So people must check for symptoms."

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease which is transmitted through the bites of certain types of mosquitoes.

Flu-like symptoms, body aches and pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea are all symptoms of the disease.

Each year, more than 250 million cases of malaria are reported worldwide, killing between one and three million people, the majority of whom are young children.

Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths, which is commonly associated with poverty, take place in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2010, nine people died of malaria out of 450 cases reported in Gauteng.

- SAPA
Read more on:    health
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