Three districts – two in Limpopo and one in Mpumalanga – have reported three or more laboratory-confirmed measles cases within 30 days, which is the threshold for declaring an outbreak. The bulk of the cases is situated in Limpopo.
MEASLES SPREADS TO MPUMALANGA
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 57 measles cases have been reported in Limpopo and Mpumalanga between 1 September and 16 November.
“Laboratory-confirmed measles cases in Limpopo province have increased to 52 measles cases since the beginning of the measles outbreak, and laboratory-confirmed measles cases are increasing in Capricorn, Greater Sekhukhune, Mopani, and Waterberg districts,” said the Institute.
Two more lab-confirmed cases were reported in the Vhembe district and one case has been linked to the measles circulation in Zimbabwe.
The NICD said over the past seven days, four confirmed cases were reported in Bushbuckridge, Ehlanzeni district, Mpumalanga, which shares a border with the Greater Sekhukhune and Mopani districts in Limpopo, which were the first to be declared measles outbreak areas.
“The spread of measles cases in Limpopo province and Ehlanzeni district, Mpumalanga province, poses the risk of measles spread,” said the NICD.
Sporadic measles cases have been reported in the Northern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Free State and Western Cape.
TWO CHILDREN HOSPITALISED
The laboratory-confirmed cases were identified in patients aged 6 months to 24 years old in Greater Sekhukhune; two to 42 years old in Mopani and 18 months to 10 years old in Ehlanzeni.
No deaths or serious complications have been reported. Two children were hospitalized but have since been discharged.
“The measles incidence is high in age groups 13 months-4 years and 5-9 years,” said the Institute.
As previously reported, infected patients usually present with fever and a rash, which looks like small, red, flat spots all over the body. The rash is not itchy and it does not form blisters.
Other symptoms include a cough, runny nose, red eyes. It can also lead to complications including diarrhoea, dehydration, brain infection, blindness and death.
“Other measles complications are pneumonia, scarring of the cornea (kerato-conjunctivitis), and rarely encephalitis. Complications are more serious in those who catch measles as young infants (under 2 years of age) and in children who are malnourished,” said the NICD.
On 20 October, the Institute revealed that vaccination data shows that coverage in the Greater Sekhukhune District is well below the 95% required to achieve herd immunity against measles.
The uptake in both doses of the vaccine has fallen between 2017 and 2022.
- COSATU, SAFTU, FEDUSA public sector unions set for huge strike
- Seven men accused of kidnapping Abirah Dekhta to apply for bail
- Seven family members killed while mourning a murdered relative
- 40 Western Cape schools pay over R100k per year in bank charges
- SABC Plus: Broadcaster enters streaming age with new app
- Israel’s ‘most wanted gang leader’, seven others arrested in Joburg