At least seven malaria cases have been reported at private hospitals in Durban, but the KwaZulu-Natal health department says there is no outbreak of malaria or "malaria-carrying mosquitoes" in the city.
Spokesman Leon Mbangwa said on Monday six of the seven malaria cases pertain to people who have travelled to destinations known to have malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
These type of insects, he said, are mostly found in the province's Umkhanyakude district and Mozambique. "The only non-travelling case is a Mount Edgecombe resident who does
not travel to malaria-prone areas," said Mbangwa.
Mosquito may have been trapped in bakkie
"The department has discovered that the neighbour of the patient travels by bakkie to Mozambique on a weekly basis." He said the department suspected that a malaria-carrying mosquito might have been trapped in the bakkie and travelled all the way to this patient's home.
Mbangwa said six of the malaria-infected patients had been treated and discharged. "Only one case that was suspected of a cerebral malaria infection is still at the hospital," he said.
He urged residents of Durban not to panic as there were no
malaria-carrying mosquitoes in their area. However, he confirmed that department officials had been deployed to "spray" the Mount Edgecombe area. – (Sapa, February 2009)
Malaria med for kids
Parasite may fight mosquitoes