limpopo measles

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 02: A dose of measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Children’s Hospital on June 02, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced that in the United States they are seeing the most measles cases in 20 years as they warned clinicians, parents and others to watch for and get vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Measles outbreak: Lab-confirmed cases rise to 99

The number of outbreak measles cases in Limpopo and Mpumalanga continues to rise. Three people have been hospitalised since September.

limpopo measles

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 02: A dose of measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Children’s Hospital on June 02, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced that in the United States they are seeing the most measles cases in 20 years as they warned clinicians, parents and others to watch for and get vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said the number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases in Mpumalanga and Limpopo has risen to 99. A week ago, the figure was sitting at 77.

MEASLES CASES CONTINUE TO RISE

Limpopo is home to 77 cases, and the most affected districts are Greater Sekhukhune, Mopani and Waterberg. The South African measles outbreak started in Greater Sekhukhune earlier this year.

In Mpumalanga, which is home to 22 cases, there was a marked increase in the number of patients in the Elukwatini area of the Gert Sibande district.

“The ages of measles cases in the Limpopo province ranged from 3 months to 42 years, while in the Ehlanzeni district in Mpumalanga province, measles cases ranged from 4 months to 13 years,” said the NICD.

 Three patients have been hospitalised thus far; fortunately, no deaths have been reported in either province.

In Limpopo, 53 patients had unknown vaccination histories, while 12 did not receive any measles vaccine doses. Ten confirmed cases were fully immunised against the disease, and two received just one dose.

In Mpumalanga, 13 cases had unknown vaccination histories, six did not receive any doses, and three were fully immunised.

“Overall, 18 laboratory-confirmed measles cases of the 33 cases (55%) with known vaccination histories did not receive a single dose of the measles vaccine, making them susceptible to measles virus infection.

“Information on why the children are not vaccinated with the measles vaccine needs to be collected to improve the vaccination programme in both affected provinces,” said the NICD.

 Number of measles outbreaks cases and vaccination status in Limpopo and Mpumalanga province, 01 September to 30 November 2022. Image: NICD.

As previously reported, infected patients usually present with fever and a rash, which looks like small, red, flat spots all over the body. The rash is not itchy, and it does not form blisters.

Other symptoms include a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. It can also lead to complications, including diarrhoea, dehydration, brain infection, blindness and death.

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