Most malaria cases from Mozambique

2011-01-12 18:42

Johannesburg - Most travel-related malaria cases are found in people returning from Mozambique, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Wednesday.

"This clearly is a reflection of the large numbers of visitors to this country from South Africa, and also of the significant malaria risk, particularly in areas north of Maputo," spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said.

She urged travellers to watch for malaria symptoms like fever, headaches, cold shivers, sweating and muscle aches, and consult a doctor.

"It is currently the malaria season in Southern Africa and many travellers will have been exposed during their recent holidays.

"Each year, otherwise healthy travellers die from malaria because of a missed diagnosis, delays in treatment or incorrect medication used."

Shabalala said there had been a decrease in malaria cases in South Africa over the last few years. The number dropped from 60 000 cases in 2000 to an average of about 7 000 cases annually in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. This was attributed to the success of malaria control programmes.

"Nevertheless at this time of the year residents and visitors need to be aware of the risk."

Limpopo reported an increase in malaria cases in the Mopani and Vhembe districts during the second half of December 2010 as compared to the same time in 2009.

The number of cases in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and the lowveld areas of Mpumalanga, including the Kruger National Park, had shown expected seasonal increases, said Shabalala.

  • Smaal - 2011-01-13 08:37

    This is very funny. Why report on this when everyone who goes to Moz knows exactly what the “risk” is. Everyone knows that even the tablets won’t prevent a malaria infection. Everyone knows there are 5 species of the malaria parasite and the one deadly one is here. The parasite can remain dormant for up to a year after exposure and regular tests are required, everyone knows this. To travel north uninformed is just plain stupid. I think this is more a realization that South Africans prefer to travel north for the holidays. I for one don’t vacation in South Africa except for the Western Cape every now and then. I prefer to spend my time and money north and west of our borders and I for one have regularly been visiting Moz for the past 5 years without incident and without taking any medication. Malaria is easily preventable. Mozambican coastal areas are the places to be and I personally believe it’s safer, cleaner and more enjoyable. I love Moz.

      wvdwaal - 2011-01-28 13:17

      Agree 100%. Been travelling to Moz for the past 3 years and living here for a year - no incident (yet). No prophylactics either...

  • Andy G - 2011-01-28 14:09

    Both of you will get malaria eventually.

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