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Are Mossies a Problem?

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Are Mossies a Problem?

We are due to visit St Lucia in late January. Are mosquitoes and malaria a problem we need to consider?

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11. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

Hi,

The poster is asking about St. Lucia and surrounding areas, not Phalaborwa and

townships. Could anyone please reply to areas in the vicinity of St. Lucia. I am also interested as I will be visiting the area late March.

Balule Nature...
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12. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

The vincinity of St. Lucia is a low risk area. However, March is still in the rainseason.

See this map: malaria.org.za/Malaria_Risk/…risk_maps.html , and the advise they give.

Kind regards,

Corné van Dongen.

-Owner/manager Amukela Game Lodge-

-Balule - Greater Kruger Park-

Camps Bay, South...
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13. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

@Amukelaan: Went to Namakgale I think it was called - just off R71. Has Lulekani made less progress?

Went to St Lucia in early winter and saw no mozzies, despite out of season rain. Would imagine though the summer is a different matter.

Cape Town
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14. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

The presence of open sewage systems are irrelevant for malaria spread. These are flowing systems and are not the sort of place that Anopheles Mosquitoes like to breed which are basically in clean water. They like open still water systems, like ponds and dams around villages and on farms which are much more important. This is why malaria in South Africa is a disease of rural village populations not towns and cities where the population of Anopheles mosquitoes is extremely low, or non-existent.

Corne is however correct that the key is that Malaria spread is that it can only be caused by the SAME mosquito (of the right sort) biting a person infected already with malaria and then, within around 48 hours biting an uninfected person. In their lifetime the mosquito can flly and be blown no more than 1-2 kilometres from their hatch site. This is why, as I say malaria is a disease of rural villages. It is also why there is very little chance of malaria spread in areas like Kruger National Park. There may be a few of the right mosquitoes around but there are no people with active malaria that they can bite and pick up malaria parasites which they pass on to someone else with their next bite. How many people already with malaria go on holiday to Kruger Park? The working population is also mostly living in the SANPark camps so they have very little chance of picking up the disease except when going back on a visit to their home village. Remember the two kilometres flying range.

So if you are staying in a rural village with a high local population and near access to stagnant water then you need to be careful. This is very unusual for tourists. Even then however, you need to understand that the pool of active malaria sufferers in villages, even in the “malarial areas” of South Africa, is very small compared to countries which have much higher incidence of the disease in their rural populations such as other countries in Central and Eastern Africa – somewhere like Uganda has more than 100 times the malaria cases than these areas of South Africa - which anyway only cover a few percent of the country. Malaria is also signicantly seaonal in South Africa with very few of these cases occuring between the begining of May and the begining of the rainy season (normally early to mid October)

So South Africa which has around 10 malaria cases annually per 100,000 population bears no comparison with somewhere like Guinea which has over 20,000 cases per 100,000 (WHO figures). South Africa than has a reasonably developed Health System – even in poor rural areas. Malaria patients are immediately isolated from the general population to reduce the spread. Rather than suffering in their homes and adding to the malaria pool as they do in many African countries.

So to answer the original question St Lucia is in a “Low Risk” area as defined by the South African Department of health. This means there have been no reported Malaria cases for some years. Their advice for such areas is that no anti malarial drugs should be taken at any time of the year (the risk from the drugs is much greater than the malarial risk) but that ant-bite precautions should be taken by all visitors. Wear long sleeves and trousers at night, use mosquito screens on windows at night and use an insecticide spray or lotion (again especially after dark).

If you want more information on malarial spread in South Africa you should read the latest version of the Department of Health Guidelines on Malria (published October 2011) - doh.gov.za/docs/…malaria_prevention.pdf

Cape Town
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15. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

Thanks for cogent reply, VDC. Now understood.

Balule Nature...
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16. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

With open sewage I meant the 'longdrops' or open pits in the ground (latrine). When you come to a house in a township and have to go to that toilet, you will be surounded by flies and mosquitos'.

Therefore it is so important that every house in a township gets a descent flushing toilet!

Piet: Namakgale is a well developed town with tar roads, nice shops, petrol stations, water and electricity. Lulekani is most still dirtroad but the infrastructure is picking up fast.

Regards,

Corné van Dongen.

-Owner/manager Amukela Game Lodge-

-Balule - Greater Kruger Park-

Balule Nature...
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17. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

"So South Africa which has around 10 malaria cases annually per 100,000 population bears no comparison with somewhere like Guinea which has over 20,000 cases per 100,000 (WHO figures). "

Interesting fact over 2010:

Europe had an estimated 176 cases of malaria in 2010 with no reported deaths

Most of the malaria cases in SA:

Polokwane — More than 156 cases of malaria have been confirmed in the high-risk areas of Vhembe and Mopani in Limpopo during the first week of January 2010.

Spokesperson for the Limpopo Department of Health and Social Development Selby Makgotho said four deaths from malaria-related complications were also confirmed during the last week of December.

"To date, the province has recorded a total of 1 120 malaria cases since the beginning of the rainy season.

"The majority of these cases were reported in known malaria-risk areas in Limpopo, namely the northeastern parts of the Vhembe district and the eastern parts of Mopani, which includes Giyani and Ba-Phalaborwa," said Makgotho.

Comparing the malaria risk in the Kruger Park it is very low.

Regards,

Corné van Dongen.

-Owner/manager Amukela Game Lodge-

-Balule - Greater Kruger Park-

Cape Town
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18. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

So as this thread was on “Mossies” rather than specifically malaria a few more observations.

10 per 100,000 works out as a total of around 5-6,000 cases per year, which bears well with your figures. c.80 percent of cases in Eastern Limpopo and Mpumalanga and virtually all the rest in far north-east KZN. As well as the WHO figures of around 6,000 total cases. This current number compares with around an average of 40,000 cases per year in South Africa in the late 1990's. The continual decrease since that time has been due to an intensive programme both by the South African Government and International and local NGOs.

Interestingly more than half of the 6,000 cases reported in South Africa in 2009 were confirmed to have been caught OUTSIDE the country by people visiting other African Countries. Usually migrant workers returning from going home to countries like Malawi, DRC, Uganda and Tanzania - which between just these four countries had 34 MILLION cases of malaria in 2009. I think Corne's figures for "Europe" are somewhat low. Just the UK reported 1,761 cases in 2010 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13159606 - so South Africa is now getting into the same league as the UK with the majority of cases coming from overseas born residents who return for visits to their countries of origin.

The death rate in South Africa has been consistent at around 0.5% - ie currently around 25-40 deaths per year.

As you say in Limpopo nearly all the cases are in rural village areas In the districts you named and not in areas such as Kruger National Park and other Game Reserves.

None of this is to say that visitors to South African Game Parks in Eastern Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and far northern KZN should not follow the guidelines published by the South African Department of Health to which I linked earlier. Take precautions to avoid bites at all times and consider Chemoprophylaxis during the summer wet season in the Red indicated regions.

Just one other observation on your post. Although I totally agree with you that the government and provincial authorities should continue to put strong emphasis on the provision of full sanitation and clean water. The fact that you see lots of flies and mosquitoes around open toilets, although a health risk from other perspectives, is not a malarial risk. As I say Anopheles Mosquitoes (the only ones which are involved in malaria transmission) only breed in clean, still water. There are many other species of mosquitoes in South Africa (like countries all over the world) that do prefer dirty water. There are over 3,500 mosquito species in the world, of which less than 30 are involved in malaria transmission.

Edited: 15 December 2011, 16:28
Pretoria, South...
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19. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

Lol, I don't often chip in about malaria (ROFL), but I thought this thread had to do with mozzies in St. Lucia ... about 600kms away. I'm sure the OP is quite intrigued ... Lol!

Edited: 15 December 2011, 17:27
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20. Re: Are Mossies a Problem?

Very interesting, as usual, VdC. Thanks