Thursday, 14 December 2017 19:42

ALERT: Malaria advisory for Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KZN

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The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has released an advisory on increased malaria risk in three provinces.

The NCID announced that there's an extended seasonal risk of malaria, with an increase in number of cases of severe malaria, specifically in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal, including the Kruger National Park.

There has been more mosquito breeding likely due to climate change and heavier rainfall in the region. The NCID urges all travellers and residents to look out for symptoms as early diagnosis can prevent death from the deadly disease.

Safari tour operators advisory

The organisation especially advises safari tour operators taking clients on long safaris to have the necessary medication on hand for when they are far out of reach of medical care.

This includes taking preventative malaria medication before the trip, and advising their clients to do the same. You can also spray or soak clothes in permethrin, wear long sleeves and pants and carry mosquito nets and repellants.

Operators should also make sure to have malaria rapid diagnostic tests on them and know how to use them properly, as well as carry emergency anti-malarial therapy, namely Co-artem.

If it is determined someone has malaria or shows sypmtoms, it's crucial to take Co-artem immediately as the first 48 hours is crucial in minimising the severity of the disease. The patient needs to take the medication with milk or a fatty meal for better absorption. Follow directions for Co-artem closely.

Once possible, find medical help quickly for further treatment.

Symptoms

These are the following symptoms of malaria:
  • Fever
  • Flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweating, body pains)
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
These are danger signs and means the patient needs to be taken to hospital immediately:
  • Drowsiness
  • Deep heavy breathing
  • Yellow eyes
  • Vomiting, not able to eat or drink

Source: Traveller24

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