At least 46 more new deadly cases of malaria have been reported in the western Waterberg district around Lephalale and Thabazimbi, the Limpopo health department said on Tuesday.

The increase in cases was due to recent heavy rain in the area, spokesperson Thabiso Teffo said.

“It is an area that does not normally have malaria mosquitoes. We also worried that 70% of the cases reported were people who had not travelled. It means they had contracted malaria in the area they stay.”

 Teffo said the department started spraying insecticide and informed residents and doctors. It’s malaria season. The cases are uncommon because it’s an area where we don’t expect malaria.”Our worry is that it’s in an area that we do not concentrate on when spraying. We are definitely worried, but it is under control.”

Professor Lucille Blumberg, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said residents had been informed about malaria symptoms and health facilities in the area had enough supplies of malaria diagnostic tests and medication.

Interventions would start in the next few days to target mosquitoes involved in malaria transmission, she said.