Malaria alert for mainland, Zanzibar

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which can carry dengue. Photo:Muhammad Karim

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which can carry, among other things, dengue fever. Photo: Muhammad Karim

Occasional rains during the dry season have caused an out-of-season spike in malaria cases in Dar es Salaam, IST Clinic warns.

“We have been diagnosing an increasing amount of malaria cases in the last two months, at least one or two cases per week,” says IST Clinic doctor Belia Klaassen.

Klaassen says most cases have been relatively easy to treat, provided the patient seeks medical treatment in time.

 

The clinic also treated one case of malaria from a traveler who only visited Zanzibar, which has been running a spraying program for several years.

“His diagnosis was delayed for almost six days as the assumption is that Zanzibar is ‘malaria free.'”

In light of last years’ outbreak, Klaassen says people should be vigilant for dengue fever as well, since the two vectors of mosquitoes can bite at same time and result in a double infection.

Over 300 cases of dengue fever were recorded between January and  July 2014, and no new cases have been diagnosed at IST Clinic since then.

Anyone with high fevers above 39º Celsius,  headaches, shivering and muscle pain who has been in Tanzania longer than 10 days, should be tested for malaria in a reliable laboratory, says Klaassen.

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