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NCID: Rainfall behind malaria outbreak in Limpopo, Mpumalanga

Two people have died so far in Mpumalanga from the mosquito-borne disease and over 500 cases have been reported since April.

FILE: Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says an outbreak of malaria in parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga is due to rainfall.

Two people have died so far in Mpumalanga from the mosquito-borne disease and over 500 cases have been reported since April.

The institute's John Frien says: “We also have to keep in mind that malaria-controlled programme makes a lot of efforts to control the disease through its vector control methods, which involves spraying insecticides inside houses in those transmission areas.”

MALARIA STILL A MAJOR THREAT

Last month, a malaria expert said that despite advances being made in treating the disease, it still poses a major threat.

Officials at the University of Cape Town’s H3D Drug Discovery Centre say resistance to malaria drugs remains a constant challenge.

The World Health Organisation says more than 400,000 people die from malaria annually.

Malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

The H3D Drug Discovery Centre’s professor Kelly Chibale says progress is being made with regard to research.

“The focus of our programme on H3D is to find new drugs that we can develop into medicine which really cures the parasite at all stages so that it not only offers protection but cures all types of malaria, even those that are resistant.”

A new antimalarial development candidate has been identified with the potential to treat and prevent malaria.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)