Malaria confusion in Gauteng

2013-02-06 15:37
Johannesburg - A Gauteng resident has died of malaria after mysteriously contracting it without a recent history of travelling to a high-risk area.

The person was among six people who were diagnosed with the disease without having travelled to areas with a high risk of malaria.

The star reports that National Institute for Communicable Diseases' Dr Lucille Blumberg said it was rare for people to contract malaria without visiting endemic areas.

Blumberg said it could have been caused by mosquitoes that had hidden themselves in the cars driven by the holidaymakers who were returning home, or had hidden themselves in suitcases or other containers.

“It’s not common that mosquitoes find a way into containers or suitcases of the holidaymakers. Even if they do, they are not going to survive for long,” Blumberg said.

There have been three cases reported in Kempton Park and another three near Bronkhorstspruit.

There was no reason to panic as yet according to Blumberg, but people who had travelled to malaria-prevalent areas such as Mozambique should seek medical help immediately if they developed flu-like symptoms.

Visitors to areas such as Mpumalanga around Mbombela, the Kruger National Park and some parts of Limpopo and northern areas of KwaZulu-Natal are being advised to take the necessary precautions and use repellants.

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