Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases based on laboratory testing data
- The NICD has tested 7054 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1199 (17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 37 up until week 38, 24/09/2023), 26 laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country from seven of the eight provinces where measles outbreak was confirmed; Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal reported most of the cases, ten and eight each. Mpumalanga reported four cases, while Limpopo, North West, Free State and Western Cape reported one case each.
- The number of reported cases started increasing in week 32 after reporting less than five cases for the past five weeks (week 27-31). However, there has been a noteworthy increase in cases reported from week 34 to 38. Since week 34, the total number of cases reported was 56. Of the cases, 51% (26/56) were from Gauteng and 21% (12/56) were from KwaZulu-Natal.
- To declare the measles outbreak over, the following criteria should be achieved: Absence of newly detected measles cases for more than two incubation periods (42 days). The criteria for declaring the measles outbreak over was met in the Northern Cape province in week 15, the North West province in week 24, and the Free State province in week 25. Mpumalanga and North West are reporting sporadic cases.
- From epidemiological week 40, 2022 to week 38, 2023, the NICD tested 7054 serum samples for measles of which 1199 (17%) were confirmed measles cases. The number of samples submitted and the percentage of laboratory-confirmed measles-positive cases are shown in Figure 1. From epidemiological week 40 of 2022 to week 38 of 2023, 1190 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (524 cases), Mpumalanga (119 cases), North West (222 cases), Gauteng (217 cases), Free State (35 cases), Western Cape (19), KwaZulu-Natal (47) and Northern Cape (7) (Table 1). The number of blood samples and throat swabs submitted to the NICD for measles serology and PCR testing decreased from 82 in week 37 to 38 tested in week 38.