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J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S196-203.

Lessons learned from establishing and evaluating indicators of the quality of measles surveillance in the United States, 1996-1998.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


As part of a strategy to eliminate measles, 7 indicators were adopted in the United States in 1996 to ensure the quality of measles surveillance. This report summarizes the US experience with these indicators during 1996-1998. The indicators are compiled from data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during routine surveillance supplemented with information collected directly from states. Measles case investigations are generally thorough, and sufficient information is collected to control and monitor disease. A high proportion of measles cases are imported from other countries, suggesting that investigations are complete. For some states, the lag from disease onset to reporting is long, and the number of health department investigations of measleslike illnesses is low. Most of these investigations include laboratory testing of clinical specimens. Collection of measles virus specimens from cases for genetic analysis needs improvement. The CDC and health departments need to continue efforts directed at health care professionals to ensure the recognition, proper diagnostic workup, and reporting of measles.

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