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More than 7,400 malaria cases recorded in SA this year: travellers warned to take precautions

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More than 7,400 malaria cases were recorded in South Africa between January and October, the Department of Health says.

Only 17% of these cases were locally contracted with the remainder contracted outside the country, it said.

Spokesperson for the department Foster Mohale said malaria cases were increasing in some parts of the country, especially high-malaria risk areas.

At least 66 deaths from malaria were recorded between January and October. People who experience malaria-type symptoms (which include headache, fever, chills muscle and joint pains) are urged to visit their local health facility without delay.

As summer marks the start of the malaria period in South Africa due to higher temperatures and increased rainfall in the malaria transmission areas, the department has urged people travelling to and from malaria-endemic or high-risk areas to take appropriate precautionary measures to prevent possible infection.

Mohale said late presentation to health facilities with symptoms is one of the contributing factors to increasing malaria morbidity and mortality rates.

“Malaria is a life-threatening, but preventable and curable disease. Early detection saves lives. The department is intensifying its malaria response plan through screening and testing around borders in high-malaria risk provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo) throughout the year for early detection of imported cases, indoor residual spraying in high malaria areas every year in September until the beginning of the following year and public education campaigns,” he said.

Pregnant women and children under five years have been warned to avoid visiting malaria-endemic areas, unless they take extra precautionary measures.

Source: TimesLIVE


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