Fourteen new laboratory-confirmed measles cases were reported in two sub-districts in the Mopani district on 08 and 09 November 2022, increasing the total number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases of the outbreak to 35. Laboratory-confirmed measles cases in the Greater Sekhukhune district remain at 16 cases, and in the Mopani district, laboratory-confirmed measles cases increased to 19 cases.
The laboratory-confirmed measles cases reported in the Mopani district were in the Greater Giyani, Ba-Phalaborwa, and Ga-Kgapane sub-districts. Epidemiological investigations linked two measles cases in the Sekhukhune district, a father and child. In the Mopani district, Ba-Phalaborwa sub-district, two siblings with measles infection had contact with laboratory-confirmed cases in the Greater Sekhukhune district and the Greater Giyani sub-district when they travelled there for a family funeral.
Whilst two cases have been reported from Vhembe District, these cases do not have any links to outbreak-associated cases. These cases are considered sporadic and are not included in the outbreak tally.
The laboratory-confirmed measles infections have been identified in 19 males and 16 females with an age range of 6 months and 24 years in the Greater Sekhukhune district, and 2 to 42 years in the Mopani district (Table 1). There is an increasing number of measles cases in the ages 5-9 years in the Mopani district. Two children were admitted to the hospital, however, no deaths or other complications from measles have been reported.
Affected districts are continuing with the public health response activities, tracing suspected measles cases and vaccinating their contacts. A measles vaccination catch-up dose is being given in the health facilities for the children who missed the measles vaccination to increase immunity in the community.
Vaccination status of cases is described in Table 2. For 20/35 (63%) cases, vaccination status is unknown.
Measles patients present with fever, rash, and one or more of these symptoms, cough, red eyes, and runny nose. Complications of measles include pneumonia, diarrhoea, dehydration, encephalitis, blindness and death. Measles complications are severe in malnourished children and young infants under 2 years of age. Persons of any age who are not vaccinated can contract measles and develop the disease. Clinicians and caregivers should be on alert for anyone presenting with the above symptoms and signs and check children’s road-to-health booklets to ensure measles vaccinations are up to date. Measles vaccines are given routinely at 6 and 12 months of age. It is never too late to vaccinate against measles.
Clinicians should complete and submit a case investigation form for each measles case, and notify all suspected cases. click here to access the notification form
Source; NICD, Limpopo province Department of Health