Update: South Africa, Limpopo, and Northwest Provinces: No further cases in non-endemic areas

In March 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received official reports of possible locally-transmitted cases of malaria detected in non-endemic areas of Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng Provinces. Forty-nine cases were reported fromthe end of February through March 22, 2017 in Thabazimbi and Lephalele municipalities in the western Waterberg District of Limpopo Province. Two cases were reported at the beginning of March in Swartruggens in North West Province, and two cases were reported mid-February in the Doornpoort neighborhood north of Pretoria in Gauteng Province. No cases have been reported since March 22, 2017.

With the ending of this outbreak, malaria prophylaxis is no longer needed for the western Waterberg District of Limpopo Province. However, note that Limpopo Province has known ongoing endemic malaria transmission restricted to the northeastern part of the province near the border of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, specifically in the Vembe and Mopane district municipalities. Other malaria endemic areas in South Africa include: Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga Province, Umknanyakude district municipality in Kwazulu-Natal Province, and National Park. CDC recommends malaria prophylaxis for travelers to these areas with malaria. The effective antimalarial options include atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone ®), doxycycline, and mefloquine.

In addition to malaria, other diseases are spread by mosquito bites, therefore measures to prevent mosquito bites should be taken regardless of area of travel. These measures include using insect repellent when outdoors, and during the peak biting period for mosquitoes (dusk and dawn) staying in an air-conditioned or well-screened building, and sleeping under an insecticide treated bed net.

See the CDC Malaria website (www.cdc.gov/malaria) for additional health information about malaria including prevention of mosquito bites and drugs for malaria prevention. For general health information for travelers to all areas of the world, see the CDC Traveler’s Health website (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/).

Page last reviewed: July 21, 2017