National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

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    Odyssean malaria outbreaks in Gauteng Province, South Africa, 2007- 2013
    (2014-05) Frean, J; Brooke, B; Thomas, J; Blumberg, L
    Background: Odyssean malaria refers to malaria transmitted by translocated mosquitoes and is a diagnosis of exclusion, as the probability of finding the responsible vector is miniscule. We believe that road traffic from endemic areas in and around South Africa is the source of most of the infected mosquitoes. Because of the unexpected nature of the disease, diagnosis is often delayed and severe and complicated malaria is common Objectives: To describe outbreaks of odyssean malaria during the period 2007 through 2013 in Gauteng Province, South Africa, and to educate healthcare workers about this form of malaria. Methods: Site visits, environmental hygiene inspections, patient interviews, and entomological investigations for adult mosquitoes and larvae in potential breeding sites were done in each identified outbreak. Results: Over the period, 14 laboratory-proven and 7 probable cases of odyssean malaria were investigated. There were 2 deaths (9.5% case fatality rate, approximately 10 times higher than the national fatality rate for malaria). We describe two recent clusters of cases in detail, and emphasise the importance of clinician awareness of this rare but frequently severe form of malaria. Conclusion. Odyssean malaria cases are inevitable in South Africa, given the volume of road, rail and air traffic from malaria risk areas into Gauteng and other non-endemic provinces. It is likely that many cases are missed, owing to the rare and sporadic nature of the condition. Malaria should always be kept in mind as a cause of unexplained fever and thrombocytopenia, even in the absence of a travel history
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    Effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and rotavirus vaccine introduction into the South African public immunisation programme
    (2014-03) Madhi, S.A; Bamford, L; Ngcobo, N
    Immunisation has contributed greatly to the control of vaccine-preventable diseases and therefore to improvements in health and survival, especially among young children, and remains one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. This remains true for many of the newer, more expensive vaccines. Vaccines against invasive pneumococcal disease and rotavirus infection were introduced into the South African Expanded Programme on Immunization in April 2009. This article describes the rationale for and process of the introduction of these two vaccines, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and rotavirus vaccine. It also aims to evaluate the success of and challenges related to their introduction, in terms of both achieving universal coverage and improving survival and health in South African children.