Concern as 18 measles cases reported in SA never received vaccination

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has recorded 99 measles cases in Limpopo and Mpumalanga between September 1 and November 30.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has recorded 99 measles cases in Limpopo and Mpumalanga between September 1 and November 30.
Image: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

Information on why the children are not vaccinated with the measles vaccine is needed to improve the vaccination programme in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said this on Thursday as it announced a steady increase in measles cases recorded in SA, up to 99 cases in Limpopo and Mpumalanga from September 1 and November 30.

Last week, the NICD reported 71 cases. Measles cases in Limpopo increased to 77, and there were now 22 cases in Mpumalanga.

The NICD said in Limpopo, 53 measles cases had unknown vaccination histories, 12 did not receive any measles vaccine doses, 10 were fully immunised with two doses, and two were partially immunised with one dose.

“In Mpumalanga, in 13 laboratory-confirmed measles cases, vaccination histories were unknown, six did not receive any measles vaccine dose, and three were fully immunised.

“Overall, 18 laboratory-confirmed measles cases of the 33 cases with known vaccination histories did not receive a single dose of the measles vaccine, making them susceptible to the infection," the NICD said.

The NICD said the most affected districts in Limpopo were Greater Sekhukhune, Mopani and Waterberg, while increased measles cases in Mpumalanga were reported in the Elukwatini area in the Gert Sibande district.

The NICD said the ages of measles cases in Limpopo province ranged from three months to 42 years, while in the Ehlanzeni district in Mpumalanga, measles cases ranged from four months to 13 years. 

The most affected age group was the schoolgoing 5-9 age group in Mpumalanga and the 1-4 group in Limpopo.

Measles patients present with fever, rash and one or more symptoms such as cough, red eyes and a runny nose. Complications of measles include pneumonia, diarrhoea, dehydration, encephalitis, blindness and death.

The NICD said measles complications were severe in malnourished children and young infants under the age of two years.

TimesLIVE


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