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J Infect Dis. 2003 May 15;187 Suppl 1:S198-207.

The elimination of indigenous measles transmission in England and Wales.

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Immunisation Division, Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, United Kingdom.


Following a school-based measles-rubella vaccination campaign in November 1994, enhanced surveillance of measles, including IgM antibody testing of oral fluid from clinically diagnosed case-patients, was introduced in England and Wales. Between 1995 and 2001, 665 cases of measles were confirmed, including 371 (56%) confirmed only by IgM detection in oral fluid. Two hundred thirty-nine cases (36%) were sporadic and 426 (64%) were associated with 61 clusters. Fifty-four (23%) of the 239 sporadic cases and 26 (43%) of the 61 clusters were associated with a probable or possible importation of infection from overseas, and a wide variety of genotypes were identified in each calendar year. The effective reproduction number for measles over the period was estimated to be below 0.7. These data suggest that most measles in the UK is acquired following limited transmission from an imported infection, and they confirm that measles elimination has been achieved and sustained over this period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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