Malaria Seasonal Advisory
Updated: 13 November 2018
Southern Africa is experiencing its annual malaria season and it is anticipated that there will be an increase in transmission due to increases in ambient temperature, rainfall and humidity. With the approach of the holiday season in December, it is important for travellers visiting any of the malaria areas within southern Africa or elsewhere to take appropriate precautions and maintain a high index of suspicion for symptoms of malaria on their return.
The major areas of transmission of malaria in South Africa are the north-eastern parts of Limpopo Province (along the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe), the lowveld areas of Mpumalanga Province (including the Kruger National Park but excluding Nelspruit/Mbombela, White River, Sabie, and their immediate surrounds) and the far northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Personal protection against mosquito bites should be the focus of malaria prevention, together with use of chemoprophylaxis (preventive medication) in the indicated higher-risk areas. Chemoprophylaxis is now available in pharmacies without prescription. Regardless of antimalarial measures used, the occurrence of an acute fever and ’flu-like illness in the month after return from transmission areas must prompt an urgent malaria blood test and follow-up of results.
Regarding neighbouring countries:
1. Mozambique and Zambia have high malaria transmission throughout the country. The majority of malaria cases treated in South Africa have a history of travel to Mozambique.
2. Zimbabwe, including the Victoria Falls, is a high transmission area except for Bulawayo, Harare and Gweru and their immediate surrounds.
3. Malawi and the area around Lake Malawi are high transmission areas.
4. Botswana has transmission in the central and northwest districts, including the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, but there is no malaria transmission in Gaborone. 5. In Namibia, malaria is present in the northern regions (Kavango East and West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi), and there is no malaria transmission in Windhoek.
6. Malaria control in Swaziland has resulted in a major decrease in local cases and there are limited areas of malaria transmission in the lowveld area in the east of the country bordering Mozambique.
Communicated by: National Institute for Communicable