Avatar photo

Compiled by Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Measles outbreak: Hope on horizon, but work still needed – NICD

While the decline in measles cases is a positive development, the road to prevention requires sustained effort, the NICD said.

South Africa is witnessing a significant reduction in the measles outbreak, with the number of cases decreasing notably over the past three weeks.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) released its latest report on Monday, covering data during the epidemiological curve from week 40 of 2022 to week 30 of 2023.

Measles outbreak update

While the declining numbers offer hope, the NICD emphasises the importance of vigilance and vaccination to prevent future outbreaks.

During this survey period, the NICD recorded 1 109 cases of laboratory-confirmed measles across eight provinces

Provincial breakdown

The breakdown of cases is as follows:

  • Limpopo: 512 cases
  • Mpumalanga: 112 cases
  • North West: 217 cases
  • Gauteng: 182 cases
  • Free State: 32 cases
  • Western Cape: 18 cases
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 29 cases
  • Northern Cape: 7 cases

The data shows a decline in samples submitted for testing, down to just one from 22 in the previous week.

The cases in Limpopo were concentrated in the Waterberg, Greater Sekhukhune, and Mopani districts, with no new cases reported in the province since week 27.

Meanwhile in KZN, 27 of the 29 cases were reported in the Ethekwini Metro

Vigilance and vaccination

The NICD calls on healthcare workers and medical practitioners to remain alert for new measles cases and promptly report any adverse events following immunisation.

With national measles vaccination coverage still low among at-risk populations, the prevention and control of outbreaks hinge on increased vaccination rates.

Furthermore, the NICD urges local districts and provinces to fully document vaccination statuses on investigation forms to ensure data completeness.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits