JOHANNESBURG – Medical experts say that due to the adverse consequences of climate change – it is possible that diseases like malaria could start spreading throughout.
This follows a warning by the City of Tshwane that the region has seen a spike in infections in the region, since July this year.
READ: Tshwane health urges caution when travelling, as malaria cases on the increase
As South Africa ramps up awareness campaigns, in this year’s annual Malaria Week – the Gauteng Health Department says it is concerned with the recorded number of cases.
Malaria is common along the border areas of South Africa, in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KZN, and is now spreading more inland.
Medical experts advise all travellers to take personal protection measures against getting bitten by mosquitoes – by taking standard malaria medication or spraying insect repellent regularly.
Although the disease passed through mosquito bites is not contagious, it is still life-threatening – with 11 deaths caused by the parasitic illness in Gauteng this year.
With treatment, malaria is preventable and curable and the national Department of Health says it plans to eliminate it by 2023.
Mosquitoes are known to produce larvae seasonally, in wetter areas and Dr Aslam Dasoo speaks on how climate change has affected environments.
“Southern Africa there are huge changes in rainfall patterns and the mosquito populations need bodies of water in which to lay their larvae and to reproduce when those conditions all occur the incidents of malaria will increase.”
However, doctors advise that there is a malaria vaccine available, that proves high immunity to the parasite.