11 May 2023

South Africa: Cases of Malaria on the rise! [update]

update (16 May 2023): The provincial Department of Health in Limpopo is raising alarm over massive surge in malaria cases. According to Thilivhali Muavha, spokesperson for Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, the surge in the province is reported mainly in the malaria epidemic-prone areas of Vhembe (northern and eastern lowveld areas) and the eastern part of the Mopani region.

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced on 10 May 2023 that it is currently seeing a significant increase in malaria cases in South Africa, particular in the endemic provinces and Gauteng. The disease is endemic in some parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The NICD is urging people with fever or "flu-like" illness, who reside in a malaria-risk area or have travelled to a malaria-risk area (irrespective of malaria season, transmission intensity or chemoprophylaxis use), in the past six weeks, to test using a blood smear microscopy or malaria rapid diagnostic test.

Source: NICD; click on map to enlarge

Malaria transmission in South Africa is usually seasonal, with malaria cases starting to rise in October, peaking in January and February, and waning towards May.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious and potentially life-threatening disease. It causes "flu-like" symptoms that typically include fever (>37.5 °C), headaches, sore throat, dizziness, cold shivers or hot sweats, joint or muscle pains, tiredness, and diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting.

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