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Euro Surveill. 2012 Dec 6;17(49). pii: 20330.

Use of a geographic information system to map cases of measles in real-time during an outbreak in Dublin, Ireland, 2011.

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Department of Public Health, Health Service Executive (HSE) East, Dr Steeven's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


In 2011, there was a large measles outbreak in Dublin. Nationally 285 cases were notified to the end of December 2011, and 250 (88%) were located in the Dublin region. After the first case was notified in week 6, numbers gradually increased, with 25 notified in June and a peak of 53 cases in August. Following public health intervention including a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination campaign, no cases were reported in the Dublin region in December 2011. Most cases (82%) were children aged between 6 months and 14 years, and 46 cases (18%) were under 12 months-old. This is the first outbreak in Dublin to utilise a geographic information system for plotting measles cases on a digital map in real time. This approach, in combination with the analysis of case notifications, assisted the department of public health in demonstrating the extent of the outbreak. The digital mapping documented the evolution of two distinct clusters of 87 (35%) cases. These measles cases were infected with genotype D4-Manchester recently associated with large outbreaks across Europe. The two clusters occurred in socio-economically disadvantaged areas and were attributable to inadequate measles vaccination coverage due in part to the interruption of a school-based MMR2 vaccination programme.

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