JOHANNESBURG, Jan 21 — South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) says malaria cases have increased from over 8,000 in 2013 to almost 14,000 last year.
Its Deputy Director, Professor Lucille Blumberg, said here Tuesday that the increase was primarily because of favourable climatic conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes and she advised travellers visiting malaria-affected areas to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.
“If you have travelled during the December or January holidays and you have returned from a known malaria area and have a flu-like illness or fever, then malaria could be obvious,” said Prof. Blumberg, who highlighted neighbouring Mozambique as a risk area.
“You need to go to your doctor or clinic urgently and remind them that they need to test for malaria and it needs to be done urgently with an urgent result.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a parasite called Plasmodium, transmitted via the bite of infected mosquitoes, causes malaria.
The parasites then multiply in the liver of the human body and infect red blood cells. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, and vomiting which usually take place between 10 and 15 days after being bitten by the mosquito.