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Updated Malaria Prevention Recommendations: South Africa

On March 9, 2018, the United Kingdom (UK) reported two cases of P. falciparum malaria in UK travelers who had returned from the Waterberg region of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Waterberg has not previously been considered to be a malaria-endemic area; however, local cases in Waterberg had previously been reported in October 2017, and sporadic cases have been reported in the past. Other areas of Limpopo Province, including Vhembe and Mopani district municipalities, Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga Province, Umknanyakude in Kwazulu-Natal Province, and Kruger National Park are already considered to be malaria-endemic.

The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and local public health authorities continue to conduct surveillance for malaria cases and investigate potential locally transmitted cases in areas considered non-endemic.

Antimalarials to prevent malaria are now recommended for travel to the Waterberg region of Limpopo Province, including resort areas. Measures to prevent mosquito bites should also be taken. These measures include using insect repellent when outdoors, staying in an air-conditioned or well-screened area, and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net.

See the CDC malaria website 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.

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