Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases based on laboratory testing data
- The NICD has tested 6695 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1138 (17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 32 up until week 33, 19/08/2023) 12 laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country from three of the nine provinces. KwaZulu-Natal reported most of the cases (six), Limpopo reported four and Gauteng reported two cases.
- In epidemiological weeks 32 and 33, the has been a slight increase in reported cases (8) when compared to previous weeks (<5 cases). Most of the cases reported are from Elembe district, KwaZulu-Natal. Thus, despite transiently meeting the criteria to declare the outbreak over from weeks 15-21 this year, the outbreak continues in this 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 33, 2023, the NICD tested 6695 serum samples for measles of which 1138 (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 33 of 2023, 1129 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (519 cases), Mpumalanga (113 cases), North West (218 cases), Gauteng (186 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 32 to 24 tests in week 33.