Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases based on laboratory testing data
- The NICD has tested 6541 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1115 (17%) were confirmed positive. In the past week (week 28 up until week 29, 22/07/2023) only one laboratory-confirmed measles case was detected across the country from the Western Cape province.
- The percentage of samples testing positive (PTP) increased from 0% (0/19) of samples tested in week 28 to 8% (1/12.) of samples tested in week 29.
- Three cases from the database were moved from Gauteng province to Kwazulu-Natal province. The cases were initially allocated to Gauteng since they were tested in a private lab located in Gauteng. However, the cases were from KwaZulu-Natal.
- The outbreak is effectively over, however, sporadic cases are still reported in most provinces across South Africa. Limpopo province is currently completing a mop-up vaccination campaign.
- 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. Sporadic cases are still seen in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape.
From epidemiological week 40 2022 to week 29 2022, the NICD tested 6541 serum samples for measles of which 1115 (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 29 of 2023, 1107 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (512 cases), Mpumalanga (112 cases), North West (217 cases), Gauteng (182 cases), Free State (32 cases), Western Cape (18), KwaZulu-Natal (32) and Northern Cape (7). The number of blood samples and throat swabs submitted to the NICD for measles serology and PCR were 12 tests in week 29.