Bilharzia does occur in many rivers of the country. It can be prevented by not swimming in rivers.

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

Schistosomiasis, or bilharzia, is a parasitic disease caused by trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma. Larval forms of the parasites, which are released by freshwater snails, penetrate the skin of people in the water.


In Southern Africa, the influenza season starts in May/June and continues into August/September. If travelling during this period, the vaccine should be administered at least two weeks prior to arrival in South Africa to allow time for the immune response to develop. The vaccine does not contain live virus and is considered safe in transplant recipients and immunosuppresed travellers, but the protective effect of the vaccine is likely to be less in this group but would still reduce complications of influenza. Medication to treat influenza (oseltamivir- 'Tamiflu') is available on prescription in South Africa.

Friday, 06 October 2017 07:15

Influenza also called flu is an acute viral respiratory infection, transmitted by the influenza virus.


Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

Influenza is a viral infection that affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. Infection usually lasts for about a week, and is characterized by sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache and severe malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat and rhinitis.



The risk for malaria increases from September and September to May is considered the malaria season. Overall control initiatives have been very successful in the malaria transmission areas. Mostly falciparum malaria is seen. The risk remains low in KwaZulu-Natal and is confined to the very far northern KZN.

There is no malaria in the Drakensberg, Hhluhlwe and Umfolozi Game Parks and St Lucia areas. The risk of malaria in the Kruger National Park will increase and malaria chemoprophylaxis needs to be considered.

Mozambique has year round malaria and the risks in southern Zambia, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) will likewise increase.

Measures to reduce mosquito bites (the malaria mosquitoes are most active from sunset to sunrise) are essential and include application of DEET containing insect repellents to exposed areas, wearing of long pants and socks and sleeping under a mosquito net.

To view the South Africa malaria map, click here ...

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 11:26

Malaria advisory 

Updated: 03 March 2020

Wednesday, 09 January 2019 14:59

The Guidelines for the Prevention of Malaria in South Africa were developed by the national Department of Health in close collaboration with several stakeholders and malaria experts.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 13:45

Malaria Advisory for South Africa 2018

Updated: 11 April 2018

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 09:36

Malaria Alert

13 November 2018

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 09:26

Travellers to, and residents in, malaria endemic areas are at risk of acquiring malaria. Stringent non-drug measures should be taken to avoid mosquito bites throughout the year, even in low malaria transmission areas. In addition, effective chemoprophylaxis should be taken whenever and wherever the risks of acquiring malaria exceed the probability of experiencing a serious adverse reaction to the chemoprophylaxis. The risk of acquiring malaria is determined by the malaria transmission intensity in the area, season of visit, length of stay, type of accommodation, and likely activities between dusk and dawn.


Important animal species associated with rabies in Africa are dogs, cats, cattle, mongoose, bat-eared foxes, and jackals. Animal rabies is endemic in South Africa and both wild and domestic animals are important reservoirs. All mammals are susceptible to rabies and can transmit rabies virus, but dogs are the most important source of human rabies infection in Africa, as well as the yellow mongoose. Globally, dogs are the major reservoirs. Dog rabies in South Africa is most prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga Provinces.

There have been a number of successful control initiatives in the province of Kwazulu Natal. Most of the cases occur in rural areas.

There is a low risk when travelling in more rural areas and this can be further reduced by avoiding touching any animals. Post-exposure prophylaxis (both vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin) is readily available.

Sunday, 12 January 2020 04:41

In April 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) published their revised position on rabies vaccines and rabies immunoglobulins (Available from:

This document summarises the current recommended regimens for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for rabies in South Africa as of January 2020.

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 12:29

Protecting your family and pets against rabies

Updated: 03 March 2020

Friday, 06 October 2017 08:43

Rabies is a contagious viral disease causing damage to the brain and the spinal cord and is uniformly fatal.

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 00:00

Rabies - Frequently asked questions

Updated: 21 September 2017

Saturday, 22 June 2013 02:00

Rabies is a fatal illness caused by a virus that spreads to humans from contact with animal saliva. This can happen when an infected animal bites or scratches you.

Yellow fever

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is an infectious vector-borne disease that is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito vector such as Aëdes aegypti. South Africa has a risk of introduction of the disease as the mosquito vector exists in the country.

The South African Department of Health would like to inform you of the amendments to the yellow fever vaccination policy for travellers coming from yellow fever risk countries.

Travellers going to or coming from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe as well as Rwanda  will no longer be required to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate when in South Africa as these countries have been included on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of countries with low potential for exposure to yellow fever virus.

During the 136th session of the WHO Executive Board meeting, a review of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination was conducted and based on the recommendations of the meeting; all travellers arriving into the country from these countries will NOT be required to produce proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever. This provision is with immediate effect.

In line with the International Health Regulations, 2005 South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all citizens and non citizens over one year of age:

·         Travelling from a yellow fever risk country; or

·         Having been in transit exceeding 12 hours, through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

The  International  Health  Regulations (2005)  requires  countries  at  risk  of Yellow Fever introduction to employ the following measures:

  1. Obtain vaccination certificates from travelling from areas determined by the WHO to be at risk of Yellow Fever transmission. As a result, South Africa implements the following measures for all travellers from Yellow Fever risk countries who are unable to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at the point of entry:

·         Refuse entry; or

·         Place traveler under quarantine surveillance until their certificate becomes valid, or for a period of not more than six days;

·         Travellers who are in possession of an exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be:

°         Allowed entry;

°         Required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities; and

°         Be placed under quarantine surveillance.

  1. Disinfection of aircraft, ships, tyre casing consignments and other modes of transportation coming from a Yellow Fever risk area.

Definition of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate:

Vaccine should be approved by the WHO and administered at least 10 days before departure to South Africa at a Yellow Fever approved vaccination centre. The vaccine offers protection 10 days after administration and provides lifetime immunity.

Thursday, 12 April 2018 00:00

The South African Department of Health would like to inform you of the amendments to the yellow fever vaccination policy for travellers coming from yellow fever risk countries.

Updated 12 April 2017

Friday, 06 October 2017 09:42

Yellow fever is a vector-borne acute viral haemorrhagic disease caused by an infection with the Yellow Fever virus (YFV)

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 00:00

Travellers from Zambia; Tanzania; Eritrea; Somalia; Sao Tome and Principe will no longer be required to produce proof of the yellow fever certificate when coming to South Africa after they were included on the World Health Organization Low - risk yellow fever countries list.

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 00:00

Yellow fever is a viral disease, found in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas. It principally affects humans and monkeys, and is transmitted via the bite of Aëdes mosquitoes. It can produce devastating outbreaks, which can be prevented and controlled by mass vaccination campaigns.

Updated: 18 May 2017

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

Yellow fever is a viral disease, found in tropical regions of Africa and the Americas. It principally affects humans and monkeys, and is transmitted via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. It can produce devastating outbreaks, which can be prevented and controlled by mass vaccination campaigns.

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Important Notice

You are advised to visit your general practice surgery or a travel medicine clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel. However, it is never too late to seek advice.

If you have a medical condition, you are advised to discuss the suitability of the trip before you book.


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