Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases based on laboratory testing data
- The NICD has tested 6894 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1171(17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 35 up until week 36, 09/09/2023), 16 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 (11), Limpopo reported one, Kwa-Zulu Natal reported two and Mpumalanga reported two cases.
- 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 the number of cases reported from weeks 34-36. Since week 34 the number of cases reported is a total of 28 cases. 61% (17/28) of the cases are from Gauteng province.
- 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.
From epidemiological week 40, 2022 to week 35, 2023, the NICD tested 6894 serum samples for measles of which 1171 (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 36 of 2023, 1162 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (523 cases), Mpumalanga (115 cases), North West (221 cases), Gauteng (206 cases), Free State (33 cases), Western Cape (18), KwaZulu-Natal (39 and Northern Cape (7) (Table 1). The number of blood samples and throat swabs submitted to the NICD for measles serology and PCR testing increased from 51 in week 35 to 56 tests in week 36.