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J Infect Dis. 2011 Jul;204 Suppl 1:S289-98. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir140.

Progress toward measles elimination in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

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Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Immunization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, World Health Organization, Cairo, Egypt.


Since 1997, when the goal of interrupting measles transmission by 2010 was adopted, substantial progress has been made toward the elimination of measles in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). For the 22 EMR member countries, routine coverage with the first dose of a measles-containing vaccine (MCV) increased from 70% in 1997 to 82% in 2009. All 22 countries conducted measles catch-up vaccination campaigns during 1994-2009, and most conducted follow-up campaigns as needed. Of the 22 EMR countries, 19 have established case-based surveillance for measles with laboratory confirmation. Reported measles cases decreased by 86% during 1998-2008, and estimated measles mortality decreased by 93% during 2000-2008, accounting for 17% of global measles mortality reduction during that period. Despite these successes, several significant challenges remain, and the EMR will not be able to achieve measles elimination by the end of 2010. Achieving and maintaining high population immunity with 2 doses of MCV, improving sensitive case-based surveillance, identifying and vaccinating high-risk subpopulation groups, and appropriately responding to outbreaks are key steps needed to achieve the goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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