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J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S227-35.

Measles eradication in the Americas: progress to date.

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  • 1Division of Vaccines and Immunization, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, USA.


The region of the Americas has shown extraordinary progress in its fight to interrupt measles transmission. The Pan American Health Organization's recommended strategy includes the following: a 1-time nationwide campaign targeting 1- to 14-year-old children; routine vaccination among 1-year-olds; and nationwide campaigns conducted every 4 years, targeting all 1- to 4-year-olds. Rapid house-to-house monitoring of vaccination and measles surveillance are other essential components of the strategy. During 2001, only 541 cases were confirmed in the region. In 2002, only Venezuela and Colombia had indigenous transmission. After important vaccination efforts in both countries, the last reported case occurred on 20 September 2002, in Venezuela. Since then, no confirmation exists of indigenous measles circulation anywhere else in the region. Nonetheless, important challenges remain, including insufficient coverage during routine and campaign vaccination and inadequate investigation of some cases.

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