UPDATE: Malaria diagnoses on the increase

Malaria seems to be on the brink of an outbreak with hundreds of people testing positive and admitted to hospitals.
At least three people have died in the past two months, and 600 have been infected in Mpumalanga.
According to the Department of Health, the deaths occurred at the Tintswalo Hospital, which has registered the highest number of malaria cases between April and May.
According to the spokesman for Mediclinic Nelspruit,  Ms Robyn Baard, a man recently died after he was infected in the Lydenburg area.
About 294 cases have been reported in the Bushbuckridge area, of which 235 were local transmissions.
Fifty nine were imported from Limpopo and Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The cases were spread all over the area of Bushbuckridge and more cases were coming from Acornhoek, Welverdiend, Marite, Dumfries and Seville villages.
Kruger National Park management recently issued a warning to visitors of the park to take precautionary measures prior to their visit.
“Although classified as a low-risk area, it is situated in a malaria area. Due to the heavy rain this year, there are pools of water everywhere, therefore malaria cases are on the increase, especially in the northern parts,” said SANParks acting head of communications, Mr William Mabasa.
By using repellents and insecticides and keeping gauze door and windows closed, you can reduce the risk significantly.
“Although the disease can be contracted at any time of the year, the malaria season is from October to April, with March and April being the highest risk period.
This year seems to be slightly different.
With winter approaching, mosquitoes which are the carriers of the parasite that cause malaria, will hopefully become less active.”
The Department of Health has activated response teams to assess the situation and conduct investigation in both subdistricts.
More human resources have been deployed in Bushbuckridge to assist with the investigations and interventions to contain and control the situation.
There are medical doctors permanently based in Skukuza.
The public can consult them for information and advice prior to their visit to the park on
013-735-5638.
The department would like to advise the public that any person who presents the following signs and symptoms should immediately visit the local health facility to be tested and treated:
• Fever
• Headache
• Rigors (cold shivers/hot sweats)
• Myalgia or general body pains
• Weakness (general body weakness)
• Dizziness
• Loss of appetite
• Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting
• Flu-like symptoms.
“We would like to assure our people and those who are visiting the province that we have everything under control.
Our teams are on the ground to contain the disease.
All our health facilities are ready to deal with the outbreak. We encourage everyone to ensure that they test for the disease to ensure that they remain safe,” said the MEC for health in Mpumalanga, Mr Gillion Mashego.

  AUTHOR
Hazyview Herald

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