oa South African Medical Journal - Relapsing fever in South Africa : its control

Volume 26, Issue 22
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Relapsing fever occurs sporadically and is therefore of little general public health importance at present, though the vector tick Ornithodorus mollbata is very widely distributed over the Northern Transvaal. The incriminated tick has a predilection for sandy soil; in particular, human dwellings constructed of wattle and daub. The disease is intimately associated with this type of house construction. Two methods of control are descriptionbed. The first is to break down tick-infested buildings and rebuild, preferably with :einforced concrete. This construction affords the tick no protection. This method is recommended for compounds where atives live closely together and where relapsing fever is a danger. This relatively expensive way of tick control yields permanent results and social and economic betterment of the people. Such control on a citrus estate in the Northern Transvaal worked out at �13 per employee.

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