In a follow-up on the situation with malaria in parts of South Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice certain areas of the country today.

Image/Alvaro1984 18
Image/Alvaro1984 18

As of March 12, 2017, 53 cases have been reported, most of them in the cities of Thabazimbi and Lephalale in Limpopo Province. Two of the cases were reported in Swartruggens, North West Province, and two more cases in the Doornpoort neighborhood north of Pretoria in Gauteng Province. These are areas where transmission of the disease does not usually occur.

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases is investigating the cases and working to control mosquitos that spread malaria. Health care providers and the public are being informed about the symptoms, as well as treatment of the disease.

CDC now recommends that travelers to the western Waterberg district of Limpopo Province take prescription medicine to help prevent malaria. CDC previously recommended these medicines only for people traveling to Vembe or Mopane cities in Limpopo province.

Medicine to help prevent malaria is not recommended for travelers to North West and Gauteng provinces; however, these travelers should continue to take normal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including covering exposed skin, using insect repellent, and sleeping in accommodations that are not exposed to the outdoors.

Related: Travel medicine: An interview with Dr. Christopher Sanford