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


  • The NICD has tested 6634 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1130 (17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 31 up until week 32, 12/08/2023) eight laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country from five provinces. Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng reported two cases each. Free State and Mpumalanga reported one case respectively.
  • The percentage of samples testing positive (PTP increased from 14% (4/28) of samples tested in week 31 to 36% (4/11) of samples tested in week 32.
  • 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.
  • Although not all provinces have achieved the criteria to declare the outbreak over, the outbreak is effectively over. Since week 27, all provinces where the outbreak was declared, have been reporting sporadic cases. The cases reported in week 31 and 32 are spread across the country.

Outbreak overview

From epidemiological week 40, 2022 to week 32, 2023, the NICD tested 6634 serum samples for measles of which 1130 (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 32 of 2023, 1121 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (516 cases), Mpumalanga (113 cases), North West (218 cases), Gauteng (185 cases), Free State (33 cases), Western Cape (18), KwaZulu-Natal (31) 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 28 in week 31 to 11 test in week 32.


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