NCID: Malaria not spreading locally

2012-02-03 22:26
Cape Town - Malaria is not spreading locally, said the National Institute of Communicable Diseases [NICD] on Friday.

The statement comes after six cases of people in the Tshwane municipality contracted the disease in December despite not visiting any malaria regions.

These cases originate from two separate areas: three patients from Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, and three patients from a private housing estate in Pretorius Park, Pretoria East.

“Despite a thorough search, no evidence was found that malaria could be spreading locally,” said the NICD in a statement on Friday.

The most likely explanation for this was that malaria mosquitoes had travelled in cars, buses or other means from areas where malaria is common.

“These types of cases are rare.  Mosquitoes that are transported from malaria areas only live for a short period of time, and the types of mosquitoes that are common to Gauteng do not have ability to spread malaria,” said the NICD.

The NICD urged travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

They also urged hospital staff to consider malaria as a possible diagnosis in patients with unexplained high fevers, even in the absence of a travel history.

The institute also noted that it was malaria season.

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