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J Infect Chemother. 2008 Aug;14(4):291-5. doi: 10.1007/s10156-008-0621-4. Epub 2008 Aug 17.

An outbreak of measles in Saitama City in 2007. What is the vaccination strategy to eliminate measles in Japan?

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  • 1Division of Health Promotion, Department of Health, Bureau of Health and Welfare, Saitama City Government, 6-4-4 Tokiwa, Urawa-ku, Saitama 330-9588, Japan.


In the present study, to elucidate an outbreak of measles in Saitama City, Japan, we analyzed the data for all notified subjects with measles. According to an active surveillance program, a total of 464 subjects were notified in 2007. The clinical criteria for the diagnosis of measles were defined as at least 3 days of a generalized maculopapular rash; a fever of 38.0 degrees C or more; and cough, mucus, or pharyngitis. Two peaks according to age group were recognized: namely, children less than 2 years of age and adolescents from 15 to 19 years of age. The latter peak was associated with the period of time when the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine had become a social problem (40.9% of vaccinees and 41.6% of non-vaccinees in this group). Japan is said to be a developing country regarding its measles vaccination strategy. In addition, no national program against measles has yet been established. Continuous efforts to increase immunization coverage are needed to interrupt indigenous measles transmission. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare should therefore plan and implement a nationwide program to eliminate measles in Japan.

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