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Uirusu. 2007 Dec;57(2):171-9.

[Epidemiological situation of measles in Japan and measures for its control].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Infectious Disease Surveillance Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases 1-23-1 Toyama Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


In 2007, measles outbreak occurred mainly among teen/twenties in Japan, and many high-school, universities and colleges were closed to reduce spread of measles. Some high school students became measles when they were in foreign countries where measles has been eliminated, visited as school excursion. Since introducing measles vaccine as routine immunization, number of measles has been reduced remarkably in Japan. However, we had measles outbreak in 2001, and total annual patients number were estimated 200-300 thausands mainly among young infants. The main reason was low immunization coverage of measles at 1 year old, and operation to give measles vaccine as "the gift for 1 year old birthday" has been introduced widely. Then immunization coverage at this age was increased up from 50-60% (2001) to 80-90% (2006) and total measles number was estimated less than 10,000 at 2005 and 2006, however, measles outbreak occurred this time among teen/twenties in 2007. The total number of adult measles (more than 15 y.o.) were higher than the number of them at 2001 outbreak. To discontinue outbreak and to eliminate measles, enhancement of measles control activities has been introduced in Japan. Two doses policy with measles and rubella (MR) vaccine at 1 y.o. and before elementary school has been introduced since 2006 and further, supplementary immunization with MR at 1st grade in junior high school and 3rd grade in high school for 5 years from 2008 will start to eliminate measles by 2012. Reporting system will be also changed from sentinels system to notify to all measles cases system. In this paper, present epidemiological situation on measles in Japan, measles elimination strategy in WPRO, and plan for measles elimination in Japan are described.

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