Gauteng Health Dept urges caution when visiting areas with malaria

The life-threatening disease causes up to 3,000 cases in Gauteng each year, and proves fatal in about 30 cases.

A feeding female 'Anopheles sinensis' mosquito on a human hand. Picture: CDC/James Gathany.

JOHANNESBURG - Amid malaria awareness being observed by the South African Development Community (SADC) this week, the Gauteng Health Department has urged residents to be vigilant when traveling to neighbouring countries where malaria was rife.

The life-threatening disease causes up to 3,000 cases in Gauteng each year, and proves fatal in about 30 cases.

The majority of cases come from malaria-endemic countries such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as here at home from Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

With many planning to travel home this festive season, the Health Department is warning residents to be cautious.

Spokesperson Kwara Kekana: "Most patients with malaria present very late at health facilities via severe complications. If you have any of the following symptoms after visiting malaria-endemic regions - fever, headache, general body aches, pains or body weaknesses, nausea, vomiting, diarhoea or flu symptoms - visit your nearest health facility or doctor."

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