South Africa: Measles Cases On the Rise

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced on Friday that measles cases continue to soar across the country.

According to the latest data, South Africa has recorded 227 cases of laboratory-confirmed measles cases for specimens collected between 8 October and 17 December across all provinces.

Statistics show that 216 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from five provinces with a declared measles outbreak, namely Limpopo (110 cases), Mpumalanga (64 cases), North West (27 cases), Gauteng (10 cases), and Free State (five cases).

This comes after the NICD declared a measles outbreak after three cases from two healthcare facilities were reported in Limpopo in October.

“The number of cases continues to increase daily, as blood and throat swabs are submitted to the NICD for measles serology and PCR testing,” the public health institution said.

According to the NICD, prevention and control of measles outbreaks can only be achieved through vaccination.

Measles patients present with fever, rash, and one or more of these symptoms – cough, red eyes and runny nose.

Complications of measles include pneumonia, diarrhoea, dehydration, encephalitis, blindness and death.

“Clinicians across the country are urged to be on the lookout for measles cases. It is understood that the health departments in the respective provinces have commenced with or are planning immunisation campaigns,” the NICD said.

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