Gauteng Health investigates puzzling Pretoria malaria deaths

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Gauteng Health is investigating the deaths of two Pretoria women from malaria, neither of whom had travelled in affected areas.

The Citizen reports that confirmation of the cause of death was obtained from family members and a friend. Cheryl Pieterse died on Thursday and Jolynn Riekert Hocanin on Sunday.

The report says that the Gauteng Department of Health had said earlier that it was investigating the reported malaria cases.

Both women were said to be residents in Doornpoort. The 58-year-old Pieterse died in Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Her daughter Theresa Fehlhaber said her mother became ill with flu-like symptoms the previous week. “She was admitted to hospital on Tuesday. We only found out she had malaria on Thursday before she died.”

The report says more details around Hocanin’s could not be obtained immediately, as her family could not be reached for comment. A friend would merely confirm that she died from malaria.

Doornpoort ward councillor Hannes Coetzee said it was worrying that both women had no travel history. “We don’t have all the facts yet to say the malaria originated from our area,” he said. “The department of health is investigating, and people should visit their nearest doctor if they display flu symptoms as a safety precaution.”

The Citizen report

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