Measles outbreak in South Africa: 71 cases in Mpumalanga and Limpopo
news desk Lord, save her
in Follow-up of measles outbreaks In South Africa, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 71 measles cases with laboratory confirmation between 1 September and 22 November 2022.
In Limpopo province, 60 measles cases, affecting four provinces: Capricorn, Greater Sikhon, Mopane, and Waterberg, which have all been declared measles outbreak areas. Vhembe district with two laboratory confirmed measles cases did not meet criteria for a measles outbreak.
Eleven laboratory confirmed measles cases have been reported in Mpumalanga district, nine from Ehlanzeni district, one from Gert Sibande district and one from Nkangala district.
In response to a measles outbreak, affected areas are following up on laboratory-confirmed measles cases and vaccinating contacts. In healthcare facilities, catch-up shots are given to children who have missed measles vaccinations to increase immunity in the community. The public health response to the measles outbreak in Limpopo Province should aim to improve measles immunity in all five provinces. It is recommended to vaccinate contacts of a measles case in the Ehlanzeni district to prevent the spread of the measles virus.
Measles patients present with fever, rash, and one or more of the following symptoms such as cough, red eyes, and runny nose. Complications of measles include pneumonia, diarrhea, dehydration, encephalitis, blindness, and death. Complications of measles are most severe in malnourished children and young children under 2 years of age. Anyone of any age who has not been vaccinated can contract measles and become ill. Doctors and caregivers should be alert to anyone showing the signs and symptoms listed above and review Children’s Road to Health booklets to ensure that measles vaccinations are up to date. Measles vaccine doses are given routinely at 6 and 12 months of age. It’s never too late to get vaccinated against measles.