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Ann Trop Paediatr. 1999 Jun;19(2):125-34.

Measles: a disease that has to be eradicated.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, King Fah'd Specialist Hospital, Buraidah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

The incidence of measles is on the decline but it still claims the lives of one million children annually worldwide. The devastating effects of the disease on the health and nutrition of children in developing countries and its high mortality are well documented. The rapid decay of maternal antibodies in infants in developing countries results in early susceptibility to the disease and hence the general recommendation to vaccinate at the age of 9 months. Sustained international efforts have raised global vaccination coverage rates to around 80% at which level it has remained static. Many countries in the western hemisphere have eliminated the disease by adopting aggressive strategies, which include one-off 'catch-up' mass campaigns to vaccinate all children aged 1-14 years, 'mop-up' campaigns targeting children who were missed during the 'catch-up' campaign, efficient routine vaccination services capable of reaching 90% of infants, strong surveillance activities, prompt outbreak response, and 'follow-up' campaigns every 2-4 years which target 1-4-year-old children. This success story coupled with the fact that measles has many biological features favouring eradication, and considering that it is a severe and lethal disease still prevailing in many areas, calls for immediate international adoption of eradication goals within a specified period of time.

PMID:
10690252
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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