oa South African Medical Journal - Epidemiological observations on an outbreak of tick relapsing fever in the Northern Transvaal

Volume 17, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The occurrence of tick relapsing fever in the Native labourers on a large agricultural farm in the Potgietersrust district of the Northern Transvaal is descriptionbed. Recommendations for the control of the outbreak and for the prevention of the future occurrence of the disease are detailed. As evidence that immunity to relapsing fever may be acquired, a comparison is made between the relatively low incidence and mortality rates from relapsing fever in this outbreak, where the majority of the Native workers were from endemic relapsing fever areas, with the corresponding high rates in an outbreak in the Cape Province, where the bulk of the Natives had had no previous contact with the disease. Emphasis is laid on the necessity for proper tick-proof housing in relapsing fever endemic areas in the Union for Native and others aggregated together for mining, industrial, agricultural or military purposes.

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