Fochville mom's malaria death likely from 'travelling mosquito'

2016-04-20 13:18
Natalie Cilliers (Netwerk24)

Natalie Cilliers (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - There is no need to be concerned after a young Fochville mother died from malaria, and another two people were infected with the disease, according to health officials.

Natalie Cilliers, 31, died on March 29, and two other patients were diagnosed with malaria at Mediclinic Potchefstroom in a short period of time, Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday.

Health24: Malaria

Diana King, spokesperson for Mediclinic Potchefstroom, told News24 that the other two malaria patients, who were members of the same family, were admitted to the hospital at about the same time, and were discharged when their health improved.

There have been no other reported cases in the area.

Professor Lucille Blumberg of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) told News24 on Wednesday that it was an isolated case and most probably an odyssean malaria outbreak, due to a travelling mosquito.

"This is something we see from time to time, where infected mosquitoes travel from a known malaria area. Usually it's isolated and the same mosquito, and that's the end of the story," she said.

There are two to three such incidents a year, and probably many others that officials do not pick up, she added.

"They are not common: first you need an infected mosquito and many of them aren't actually infected; then it needs to hop a lift; it has to survive the journey; survive at the other end; and then bite somebody."

The infected mosquitoes do not set up a transmission cycle at the other end as they need the right conditions for surviving and breeding.

'Malaria is very treatable'

"The message is that there is no malaria moving into areas where it is not traditionally happening.

"If somebody is travelling to a known malaria area, they need to take precautions, be aware, and if they develop flu-like symptoms, seek urgent treatment. Malaria is very treatable, but when people die it's mostly because of late diagnosis and treatment."

According to an article on the SA Medical Journal, co-authored by Blumberg, odyssean malaria is malaria transmitted by translocated mosquitoes, with road, rail and air traffic from endemic areas the source of most of the infected mosquitoes. "Because of the unexpected nature of the disease, diagnosis is often delayed and severe and complicated malaria is common."

The article concludes that odyssean malaria cases are inevitable in South Africa. "It is likely that many cases are missed, owing to the rare and sporadic nature of the condition. Malaria should always be kept in mind as a cause of unexplained fever and thrombocytopenia, even in the absence of a travel history."

Netwerk24 reported that Cilliers, who had two children aged 5 and 8, was initially misdiagnosed when she developed chills, a headache and joint pain, as she had not been in a malaria area.

She died four days later at a private hospital in Carletonville. Her boyfriend, who is a building contractor in Mozambique, flew back when her condition worsened and sat with her holding her hand before she died.

Read more on:    nicd  |  johannesburg  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.