6 malaria cases confirmed in Tshwane

2012-02-03 07:41

Pretoria - Six people have been diagnosed with malaria in Tshwane in Gauteng without visiting malaria areas, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.

"Malaria has been confirmed in six patients in Gauteng province without a recent history of travel," the NICD said in a statement posted on its website this week.

"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."

The most likely explanation for this was that malaria mosquitoes had travelled with holidaymakers returning to their homes in Tshwane.

"It is likely these cases acquired infection by the bites of infected mosquitoes translocated from endemic areas in vehicles, containers or by other modes - a relatively rare occurrence known as odyssean malaria," said the NICD.

"Nevertheless, the possibility of a locally breeding malaria vector population causing local malaria transmission cannot be ruled out at this stage."

The NICD urged healthcare workers to be vigilant and consider malaria as a possible diagnosis in patients with unexplained high fevers, even in the absence of a travel history.

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  • Shadrach - 2012-02-03 07:48

    Medre du dois! This is scary!

      Modefan - 2012-02-03 08:25

      oh damn, I just watched 'Resident Evil', 'I am legend' and '28 days later'...

      eric.vanvuuren - 2012-02-03 08:26

      From personal experience, doctors in Pretoria have no idea how to spot or treat malaria. I have lived in Zambia for 7 years. If this is turning back in too a malaria area, then too many people are going to die. This thing will continue to spread until local authorities start spraying for mosquitoes again.

      Azurite - 2012-02-03 08:31

      Eric, the problem is that patients do not tell their doctor they visited a malaria area in the last six weeks prior to getting ill. It is the patients fault as they are not informed about the risks of malaria. You cannot diagnose malaria without a blood test and most doctors won't do blood tests for fatigue and flu-like symptoms! So don't put the blame on the doctors for uninformed patients.

      Ettienne - 2012-02-03 08:47

      @ Azurite. With all due respect, Eric has valid comments. I don't think you read the article properly. These people infected have NOT been in the Malaria Areas, so how would they tell the doctor this? The doctors should know what the symptoms are and treat accordingly. Yes it is so that the possibility exists that they cannot diagnose, but generally speaking, if not sure, do the necessary.

      Grimmister - 2012-02-03 08:53

      I have to agree with Eric...I came back from the DRC and went to a hospital in Cape Town..But I had to tell the doctor that I had malaria and what treatment I wanted because she had never seen a case of malaria in her life. Lucky for me it was not my first time contracting it and I knew the symptoms and the treatment. There was also the problem obtaining the medication in Cape Town. The only place that had treatment was the Travel Clinic...

      Azurite - 2012-02-03 08:58

      Ettiene, I get your point, but most people who travel should be informed. Eric did not discriminate between those that travel and those who do not. I did read the article and these cases of infection are referred to as the most likely to happen. So you have to congratulate the doctors for identifying the malaria without the patients having travelled to a malaria area, not shoot them down for being uninformed. Eric was harsh in his assessment. I travelled more than once on a yearly basis for 6 years to malaria areas all over Africa and when I feel sick after being there, the first thing my doctor asked is have I been in a malaria area!

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-03 10:16

      I believe you guys is a bid hard on Eric and Grimmister. Most, if not all the people who LIVED in mid-Africa experience what they did. Saying this I must admit SA doctors are now more clued up than ever before, but you need to find the right doctor. If the resistance against treatment change every 12 to 18 months, like it did in the 90's, I will also rather be treated by a doctor in Zambia eg.( Eric, what is the new name for the Anglo American Clinic in Lusaka. Did it changed?)

      henrileriche - 2012-02-03 13:24

      And like a jungle overgrows ruins, and returning it to it's original form, so is South Africa steadily returning back to Afrikka.

  • Johan - 2012-02-03 07:52

    The best way of avoiding malaria is not to get bitten by mosquitoes by using some form of repellent in bedrooms at night.

      Stan - 2012-02-03 08:09

      "The best way of avoiding malaria is not to get bitten by mosquitoes" WOW... Best advice ever right there...

      Silver - 2012-02-03 08:30

      Actually Stan... lol it is the best advice.

      Merven - 2012-02-03 08:30

      A fan blowing on you while you're sleeping also keeps the mosquitoes away.

      Grimmister - 2012-02-03 08:56

      Actually you are right Johan...the best way to avoid bites whilst sleeping is to use a mosquito net treated with a repellent. This however is of no use when you sitting outside at night around a fire. Another thing I felt that helped quite a bit was large doses of tonic.

      Cy - 2012-02-03 09:01

      @Johan mmm, have you been to Mozambique and Phalaborwa lately. It doesn't matter what repellent, how many different ones you use at the same time, and how much you use, the mosquitoes still come and bite you. They are immune to the repellents.

      robert.koen - 2012-02-03 11:04

      Buckets full of Gin & Tonic. The only thing that really works... :-)

  • Silver - 2012-02-03 07:53

    Define "recent history". I've actual been waiting for this. It was just a matter of time.

      Silver - 2012-02-03 08:29

      Beannie: Mother nature has been pushing down South for some time now. Have you ever been to Mozambique in December? Seems no self respecting South African vacations at the South Coast anymore and understandably so. So with mother nature pushing south and more and more “traveling passengers” entering South Africa things where bound to change. Just mother nature sounding off. Now she is also telling us off. Some of the malaria strains are mutating and I bet the same can be expected here. We thought we were going to eradicate malaria but it seems mother nature has some other ideas. Of course here in the Southern part of Africa we have the most deadly strain. Then there are the people who believe a malaria pill will protect them. People who don’t know that malaria can stay dormant for more than a year in your liver. . Combine that with undesirable “clustered” living conditions, changing climate and an ADIS population that is growing… Well I think it’s going to be very interesting.

  • Nausheen Kauchali - 2012-02-03 07:57

    be careful people

  • John - 2012-02-03 08:02

    This is a big "Oooops". I hope we know the "Type".

  • werner.smidt - 2012-02-03 08:14

    This story is a few weeks old . . . way to stay on top of things.

      sentebalengl - 2012-02-03 08:29

      And they post said "20 minutes ago", as if its breaking news!

      Caren - 2012-02-03 08:30

      I do agree, my brother was in ICU over Christmas with this Malaria. More than a month ago and now only do people get warned!

      werner.smidt - 2012-02-03 09:32

      Also, nothing to worry about. It's just mozzies catching rides from Mozambique.

  • Jymiro - 2012-02-03 08:26

    Scary, I lost a friend in 2003 due to Malaria in the Pretoria area - they could not explain this at the time. The doctors cure fever and it only discovered later that its actually malaria - and it wa too late. I hope this is not a repeat.

  • Caren - 2012-02-03 08:28

    My brother being one! Damn those mosquitoes!

  • Inco - 2012-02-03 08:32

    Do only people from Soshanguve and Pretorius Park go on holiday to endemic areas? If so, then odyssean malaria is the most likely cause.

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-03 08:36

    The malaria parasite, Plasmodium, is a small, single-cell organism that lives as a parasite in man and a specific species of mosquito (Anopheles). There are four different types of malaria parasite: Plasmodium falciparum is the cause of fatal malaria, while Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae cause more benign types of malaria. Falciparum malaria can kill, but the other forms are much less likely to prove fatal. There are several stages in the life cycle of the parasite, and by and mostly are the same for all four types. Malaria is passed on by the female Anopheles mosquito biting a person who has malaria parasites in their blood. The parasites develop in the intestine and salivary glands of the mosquito and can be passed on to other people the next time the mosquito bites. Malaria can also be passed on by blood transfusions and the use of infected needles.Normally, 10 to 15 days go by between being infected and the onset of the disease, but it may be longer if the patient has taken a preventive medicine. On a purely practical level, the most fatal (Plasmodium falciparum) cases develop within three months of leaving the malaria region, while the forms transmitted by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale have been recorded to appear up to 22 months later. Malaria malariae (a rare, benign form) can survive in man for up to 30 years, luckily without causing much discomfort. This form can also be treated, provided you get the right medication.

      Jymiro - 2012-02-03 08:44

      Thanks for the education, a true South African.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-03 09:18

      Stayed in Mid-Africa and learned to respect malaria. When staying long enough you stop using medication and hope you build up some form of resistance. You use the normal net and other ways, but still take a change. When going into the more severe arias you take better precaution. My late father had last mentioned malaria. He stayed in one of SA's driest areas. He once visited an area that had a slim change once in +- 100 years for being a very low risk area for malaria. Being know that mosquitoes don't bite him doctors took years to realized that the sickness, that bring him close to death every 5 years, was infect malaria. I believe our doctors are now more aware of the sickness, but in the nineties when one was on holiday in SA and you feel that heavy flu feeling coming over you, you could not wait to get back to one of these African states to be treated for "just in case". I h'v learned that they were better with knowing witch medicine to use because of the constant change in the sickness and built up of resistance against treatments. We always advise our visitors to which medication to take before visiting us. The South African doctors were always a year or two behind with there choices, but with the new open and cross-border relationships between medical practitioners/departments I believe we are now on par.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-02-03 08:36

    Malaria in Pretoria? We shoould all be afraid. Pretoria is where my ID book and dompas came from. It is one place that was mentioned more often everytime I visited the government department to get my papers in order. Now, it appears it is also where our lives will be determine from. Instead of having to deal with bureaucratic red-tape we now have to occupy ourselves with Pretoria mosquitos?

      Donald - 2012-02-03 09:09

      Just call it Tshwane and you will be fine

      Silver - 2012-02-03 09:16

      LOL Donald. I agree, just the other day I heard a politician say that things like this don't happen in Tshwane and there is not such thing as a Tshwane mosquito or a corrupt criminal Tshwane politician for that matter.

  • Liz - 2012-02-03 08:48

    Seems people are unaware of some of the predicted health related outcomes of climate change in South Africa - as I recall malaria could well become a problem in Gauteng. So if not now - sadly - very possible later.

      Azurite - 2012-02-03 09:19

      Climate change has nothing to do with it. Historically all of the old Transvaal province and most the Natal province was malaria areas, until they were eradicated by chemical spraying in the previous century. Really funny how climate change gets blamed for everything!

      Liz - 2012-02-03 21:59

      @Azurite ..... Climate change is not "being blamed for everything" - it is a widely researched real possibility that endemic malaria in many parts of South Africa may be a consequence of climate change in the not too distant future. Even the government is aware of the challenges coming up in respect of malaria (see

      Azurite - 2012-02-04 06:19

      Liz endemic malaria was already in South Africa when van Riebeeck arrived. We managed to get rid of the malaria carrying mosquito by killing it off. It was their natural habitat before, so climate change does not come into consideration when talking about historical habitats

  • kevin.emslie - 2012-02-03 09:21

    Also known as "taxi malaria"

      werner.smidt - 2012-02-03 09:36

      By the same logic, "Bakkie", "Landie" and "Cruiser" malaria.

  • Rob - 2012-02-03 09:39

    Be very alert to health risks and take care of your families. The breakdown of public health due to poor management (including replacement, maintenance, standards etc) will eventually result in many previously controlled conditions, such as malaria, TB, measles becoming endemic in ALL population centres. If you are a synic you may see this as africanisation of SA

      Azurite - 2012-02-03 10:11

      The downward spiral just keeps going....sad!

      Rob - 2012-02-03 13:18

      Who is the denialist that gave the two items above thumbs down? What is your problem? Do you disagree that public health services in SA are deteriorating? Do you not think that there is a significant health risk because of the deterioration? Or Are you offended by my realism in suggesting that it is a reflection of the africanisation of SA?

  • Tebogo - 2012-02-03 10:30

    We shouldn't wait for the numbers to increase as is the norm with our local government, let's put measures in place to cap this whole Malaria thing from spreading....

  • John - 2012-02-03 10:41

    I do not know if any one has seen the black mosie with white rings on them any advise.

      Azurite - 2012-02-03 10:57

      Asian variety, carries a form of dengue fever

  • robert.koen - 2012-02-03 11:03

    And with the changing weather come other little surprises....

      Azurite - 2012-02-03 11:13

      another misinformed soul!

  • Glenys - 2012-02-03 12:04

    I matriculated in 69-in 1970 a fellow student died in Port Elizabeth after contracting malaria on a visit to Mozabique, the reason he died? The Doctors didnt know it was Malaria! THIS...IN AFRICA....STILL??????? Shows how apathetic we are.........last thing I know is there are no signs along the roads that tell Mosquito's to turn back before entering a Non Maleria area....In this day and age for heaven sake, Mosquitos fly, didnt you know? They also get caught in baggage,cars,trucks,vans... agga nee toggie, there is no hope for those who dont wake up ne?

  • John - 2012-02-03 12:13

    I sit behind this Girl at work that lives in Akasia, she was actually miss akasia in 1999, should I move my desk?

      John - 2012-02-03 12:14

      Maybe I'll throw a mosquito net around her?

  • Natalie Moreira - 2014-01-24 07:56

    Azurite........If you read carefully the 6 patients that were diagnosed with Malaria had not been anywhere near a Malaria zone during the clearly not the patients fault either....No one is putting the blame on the doctors we merely stating the fact that doctors here are not familiar with Malaria therefore cannot diagnose it quick enough..... My parents are from Mozambique and we have also visited Angola alot which are all definately Malaria infected areas....However doctors are familiar and know exactly what to treat and diagnose with a possible Malaria patient. My advice to all is if Malaria has reached Gauteng and Government doesnt take necessary steps to stop this before more people get infected and possibly die then we should all take malaria tablets.....I Dont see our government even thinking about spraying the mosquitos and stopping this before it gets worse......

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