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Epidemiol Infect. 1999 Jun;122(3):441-6.

Measles in Vietnamese refugee children in Hong Kong.

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  • 1The British Red Cross Society, Sai Kung, Hong Kong.


From September 1991-January 1992, there was a measles epidemic in an established refugee camp for 7000 Vietnamese 'Boat People' living in Hong Kong. This 16 week outbreak occurred against a backdrop of poor uptake of measles vaccination and overcrowded living conditions. Two hundred and sixty-two children were affected (155 boys, 107 girls); 235 children (89.7 %) were < 2 years old, age range 5-39 months. Children age 6-11 months had the highest crude attack rate (AR) of 54.3%. The highest age specific crude AR was 83.8% in children aged 14 months. Measles complications affected 234 (89.3%) children. Sixty-six children (25.2%) were admitted to hospital. There were two deaths from pneumonia, giving a case fatality rate of 0.76%. Measles control in refugee camps continues to be a public health challenge.

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