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Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(2):138-146. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.138

Research Paper

Recurring Measles Epidemic in Vietnam 2005-2009: Implication for Strengthened Control Strategies

Jephtha C Nmor 1, 2, 3, Hoang T Thanh4, Kensuke Goto1

1. Department of Eco-epidemiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine Nagasaki University, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan.
2. Department of Vector Ecology and Environment, Institute of Tropical Medicine Nagasaki University, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan.
3. Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.
4. Department of Occupation, Nha Trang Pasteur Institute, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam.

Abstract

Background: Measles remains a serious vaccine preventable cause of mortality in developing nations. Vietnam is aiming to achieve the level of immunity required to eliminate measles by maintaining a high coverage of routine first vaccinations in infants, routine second vaccinations at school entry and supplementary local campaigns in high-risk areas. Regular outbreaks of measles are reported, during 2005-2009.

Methods: National measles case-based surveillance data collected during 2005-June 2009 was analyzed to assess the epidemiological trend and risk factors associated with measles outbreak in Vietnam.

Results: Of the 36,282 measles suspected cases reported nationwide, only 7,086 cases were confirmed through laboratory examination. Although cyclical outbreaks occurred between 2005 and 2009, there was no definite trend in measles outbreaks during these periods. Overall, 2438 of measles confirmed cases were among children ≤5 years and 3068 cases were among people ≥16 years. The distribution with respect to gender skewed towards male (3667 cases) significant difference was not observed (P= 0.1693). Unsurprisingly, 4493 of the confirmed cases had no history of vaccination (X2 <0.01). The northern and highland regions were identified as the main endemic foci and the spatial distribution changed with time. The occurrence of cases, in a considerable proportion of vaccinated population, is not only a reflection of the high vaccination coverage in Vietnam but also portrays a possibility of less than 100% vaccine efficacy. More so, in order to prevent measles in adults, high-risk groups must be identified and catch-up for selected groups selected.

Conclusions: This study therefore reinforces the need for continued improvement of surveillance system and to probe into the possible role of changes in age-distribution of cases if the effective control of measles is to be achieved.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Measles, Outbreak, Vietnam

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How to cite this article:
Nmor JC, Thanh HT, Goto K. Recurring Measles Epidemic in Vietnam 2005-2009: Implication for Strengthened Control Strategies. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(2):138-146. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.138. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v07p0138.htm