National 12.9.2016 09:52 am

Warm season brings malaria risk

People with malaria symptoms should get tested immediately. Picture: Centurion Rekord.

People with malaria symptoms should get tested immediately. Picture: Centurion Rekord.

Residents in high-risk areas are urged to take measures to prevent malaria.

Summer is here and so is the dreaded mosquito season.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) urged people this week to take precautions against malaria and mosquito infections, Centurion Rekord reports.

NICD pokesperson Nombuso Tshabala said: “Malaria infections increase from September. The malaria risk areas in South Africa [are] the far north of KwaZulu-Natal, bordering Mozambique, the Lowveld in Mpumalanga, including the Kruger National Park.”

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

Tshabalala said young children under the age of five years, pregnant women and those infected with HIV were most vulnerable.

She urged residents who suspected malaria infection to get tested.

READ MORE: New strategy to fight Malaria on the African continent

“Malaria typically presents with flu-like symptoms. Visitors to malaria-risk areas should seek medical assistance urgently should they develop fever, headache, cold shivers and hot sweats and muscle pains.”

These were typical symptoms of malaria, but also of flu.

“The risk of malaria in Mozambique, particularly in the northern areas, is higher than in South Africa and is (present) year-round. Travellers to those areas should use mosquito-prevention drugs and avoid mosquito bites,” she said.

“Malaria-transmitting mosquitoes feed at night, therefore people should ideally remain indoors from dusk until dawn, in rooms that have screens on the windows and doors.”

There is currently no vaccine against malaria in South Africa.

– Caxton News Service

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