South Africa: Measles Outbreak Cases Increase to 11 in Limpopo

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced on Friday that the number of measles infections has increased to 11 as of 27 October 2022 in the Greater Sekhukhune District, Limpopo.

This comes after the NICD declared a measles outbreak after three cases from two healthcare facilities were reported in the same district early this month.

“The ages of the measles confirmed cases ranged from nine months to 24 years, with four males and four females,” the public health institute’s statement read.

According to the data, of the latest infections, three children were fully vaccinated for measles, while two cases had unknown vaccination histories.

In addition, two children had not been jabbed against the viral infection.

“One measles case was hospitalised and another developed pneumonia without hospitalisation.”

Limpopo and Greater Sekhukhune District health officials have since started public health response activities with the support of the NICD and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

These activities, according to the NICD, include evaluating medical records to identify missing measles cases, contact tracing, screening for suspected measles and collecting blood and throat swabs for measles diagnostic tests.

The NICD has reminded citizens that measles patients present with fever, rash, and one or more of these symptoms, cough, red eyes, and runny nose.

In addition, complications of measles include pneumonia, diarrhoea, dehydration, encephalitis, blindness and death.

The NICD explained that measles complications are severe in malnourished children and those infants under the age of two.

People of any age who are unvaccinated can catch measles and develop the disease.

Meanwhile, the NICD said clinicians and caregivers should be on alert for anyone presenting with the above symptoms and signs and check children’s road-to-health booklets to ensure measles vaccinations are up to date.

Measles vaccines are given routinely at six and 12 months of age.

“It is never too late to vaccinate against measles.”

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