South Africa: More measles cases reported in Limpopo outbreak


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in Follow up on the measles outbreak Reported in the Greater Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province, South African health officials reported the discovery of four additional measles cases, bringing the total number of measles cases to seven as of October 21.

Photo / Alvaro 1984 18

The ages of cases with measles ranged from 9 months to 24 years, of which three cases were males and four cases were females. One child was fully vaccinated against measles, with two doses of measles given in 2019. One child with measles was not vaccinated, and the other five measles cases had an unknown immunization history. One of the measles case was hospitalized while another case developed complications that led to pneumonia.

Greater Sekhokhon District and Limpopo Province of the Department of Health, with the support of other stakeholders, including the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, have started public health response activities. These activities include enhanced measles surveillance, contact tracing, screening for suspected measles cases using case identification of measles case surveillance followed by collection of blood and throat swabs for diagnostic testing for measles, and review of medical records at health care facilities to identify missing cases. People who have been exposed to suspected or confirmed cases are vaccinated to prevent the spread of measles.

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The measles immunization coverage data for Greater Sekhukhune showed a decrease of 87% to 64% for measles dose 1 and 86% to 60% for measles dose 2 from 2017 to 2022. This is less than the 95% coverage needed to achieve herd immunity.

Community awareness and health promotion by health care workers in the area continues to inform the public about the spread of measles and interventions to prevent the disease. Measles vaccination for children under 15 years of age was initiated to increase measles immunity in the community and prevent the spread of measles.

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