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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Gauteng measles update: Decline in confirmed cases

The Gauteng Health Department attributes the slight decline in measles cases to its ongoing immunisation campaign.


In the latest update on the measles outbreak in Tshwane, Gauteng health spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said the metro has 22 confirmed cases this month.

The National Health Department first confirmed a measles outbreak after around 200 cases were recorded in the country in December 2022. 

In early April, the department declared measles outbreaks in all nine provinces. South Africa recorded 960 cases so up until the end of April.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the measles outbreak currently affects:

  • Five-year-olds to nine-year-olds: 43%
  • One-year-olds to four-year-olds: 24%
  • 10-year-olds to 14-year-olds: 20%

Gauteng province measles update

Modiba said the Gauteng province has recorded a total of 153 confirmed measles cases as of 3 May.

He further said that there was only one confirmed case of measles in the province this week.

“There are 107 cases from Ekurhuleni district, 17 from Johannesburg district, 22 from Tshwane, seven from West Rand District and none from Sedibeng,” Modiba added.

The tally doubled from 11 cases confirmed in March this year. However, there has been a slight decrease in the number of cases reported in the province.

The NICD last week revealed that the number of cases reported in the province for April stood at 165 compared to this month’s 153 cases.

ALSO READ: Covid-19: SA urged to remain vigilant following WHO’s global emergency lift

Immunisation drive

The department attributes the decline to the ongoing immunisation campaign that was currently taking place.

“To date, over 1 774 590 children have been immunised across the province. In Tshwane, the target population is 933 690 children aged between 6 months and 16 years, and over 430 891 have been vaccinated,” the department added.

Modiba continued to say that various teams of health workers were working across the province to emphasise the importance of ensuring that the infants are immunised as per their Road to Health card.

ALSO READ: South Africa records eight new measles cases

Catch-up vaccines rolled out

The NICD announced that from 8 October 2022 to 22 April 2023, it had tested 5 798 samples for measles, and confirmed 17%.

Within the past month, catch-up vaccines have been rolled out for kids between the ages of 16 months old and 15 years old.

The institute said the majority of cases were reported by primary health facilities, and mainly (59%) children under the age of one.

“The department’s plan at the moment is to vaccinate over four million children to curb the spread of the disease.”

ALSO READ: Measles outbreak: Record number of children underimmunised due to Covid pandemic

Edited by Cornelia le Roux.
This article originally appeared in Pretoria Rekord and was republished with permission. Read the original article
here.