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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Measles cases decreasing across the country – NICD

The NICD has tested 5,507 serum samples for measles, of which 911 were confirmed positive.

The incidence of measles appears to be decreasing across the country, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced in its latest update on Thursday.

Limpopo has, however, remained stable and largely contribute to the increased number of cases seen last week, said the NICD, calling for continuous surveillance for measles cases.

Measles cases

The NICD has tested 5,507 serum samples for measles, of which 911 were confirmed positive.

In the weeks leading up to 29 March, 53 laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country, all of which were from the outbreak-affected provinces.

A measles outbreak has been declared in all the provinces in South Africa except for the Eastern Cape.

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The measles strain detected in Limpopo and North West province is genotype D8, which is similar to the strain in Zimbabwe in the 2022 outbreak.

In the provinces where an outbreak has been declared, the most affected age groups are still the 5-9 year olds, followed by the 1-4 and 10-14 age groups.

Reproduction numbers

Nationally, the reproduction number as of 22 March was estimated to be 0.39 (0.14 – 0.9), suggesting that infection incidence is decreasing. There is a 97% chance that the reproduction number was below 1 as of 22 March, said the NICD.

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At the provincial level, the reproduction number was estimated to be 0.97 (0.61 – 1.3) in Limpopo, suggesting that infection incidence is stable. The reproduction number was estimated to be 0.69 (0.44 – 1) in Mpumalanga, 0.82 (0.47 – 1.1) in Gauteng, and 0.76 (0.49 – 1) in North West, suggesting that infection incidence is likely decreasing.

Gauteng cases

A total of 156 laboratory-confirmed measles cases have been reported in Gauteng, since an outbreak was declared on 06 December 2022 at Ethafeni clinic in City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

To date, majority of cases, 107, have been reported from the City of Ekurhuleni, 25 from the City of Tshwane, 16 cases from the City of Johannesburg and eight cases from West Rand.

Among these 156 cases, 132 have unknown vaccination status while 11 cases were vaccinated.

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