Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases based on laboratory testing data


  • The NICD has tested 6774 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1148 (17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 33 up until week 34, 26/08/2023), 14 laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country from four of the eight provinces where Measles outbreak was confirmed; Gauteng reported most of the cases (six), Limpopo reported four, North West reported three and KwaZulu Natal reported one case.
  • Since epidemiological weeks 32, there has been a slight increase in the number of reported cases, when compared to previous weeks (week 27- 31) where <5 cases were reported. The cases in recent weeks are mostly from Gauteng and Limpopo. Although KwaZulu-Natal reported most of the cases in week 32, the cases decreased in week 33 and no case was reported in week 34.
  • The outbreak in the North West province was declared over in week 24, one sporadic case was reported in week 30. In the past two weeks (week 33 and 34) three cases have been reported in the province. The three cases reported are from three different districts (Dr Kaunda Kenneth, Bojanala and Ngaka modiri district).
  • 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.

Outbreak overview

From epidemiological week 40, 2022 to week 34, 2023, the NICD tested 6774 serum samples for measles of which 1148 (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 34 of 2023, 1139 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (520 cases), Mpumalanga (113 cases), North West (221 cases), Gauteng (192 cases), Free State (33 cases), Western Cape (18), KwaZulu-Natal (35) 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 40 in week 33 to 20 test in week 33.


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