The number of measles cases in the country is rising as four of the country’s nine provinces now have outbreaks.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Thursday that 137 cases of laboratory-confirmed measles have been reported since the declaration of an outbreak in Limpopo on October 11.
An outbreak of measles was declared in Mpumalanga on November 11.
An outbreak was declared in the North West on December 2 after three cases were reported. On Tuesday, three cases were reported by Gauteng and an outbreak in this province has been declared.
The World Health Organisation defines a measles outbreak as three cases reported in a single district in one month.
The NICD said the age of cases across the country ranges from two months to 42 years and the dominant age category of cases is the 5-9 year age group.
Of the 137 cases, Limpopo and Mpumalanga reported 89 and 40 cases respectively. “Of the 137 cases, 98 had an unknown vaccination status, 17 were vaccinated and 22 were unvaccinated.”
In Limpopo, the majority of cases were reported in Greater Sekhukhune and Mopani districts, with 30 and 32 cases respectively. Waterberg district reported 19 cases.
In Mpumalanga. Ehlanzeni and Gert Sibande districts have reported 25 and 14 cases respectively.
The outbreak in the North West was declared after three cases were reported in Ngaka Modiri Molema district. There has since been an additional confirmed case reported in the same district.
In Gauteng, three laboratory-confirmed cases were reported at a single health facility in Ekurhuleni.
The NICD said 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 even death.