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


  • The NICD has tested 7008 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1183(17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 36 up until week 37, 16/09/2023), 22 laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country from six of the eight provinces where measles outbreak was confirmed; Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal reported most of the cases, eight and seven each. Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State reported two cases each (6), while North West reported one.
  • 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 week to 34-37. Since week 34, the number of cases reported was a total of 38 cases. 50% (19/38) of the cases were from Gauteng and 18.4% (7/38) 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.

Outbreak overview

From epidemiological week 40, 2022 to week 37, 2023, the NICD tested 7008 serum samples for measles of which 1183 (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 37 of 2023, 1174 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (524 cases), Mpumalanga (116 cases), North West (222 cases), Gauteng (208 cases), Free State (35 cases), Western Cape (18), KwaZulu-Natal (44) 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 76 in week 36 to 52 tested in week 37.


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