Case Based Measles Surveillance in Pune: Evidence to Guide Current and Future Measles Control and Elimination Efforts in India

Citation: Bose AS, Jafari H, Sosler S, Narula APS, Kulkarni VM, et al. (2014) Case Based Measles Surveillance in Pune: Evidence to Guide Current and Future Measles Control and Elimination Efforts in India. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108786. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108786
Published: October 7, 2014

Abstract
Background: According to WHO estimates, 35% of global measles deaths in 2011 occurred in India. In 2013, India committed to a goal of measles elimination by 2020. Laboratory supported case based measles surveillance is an essential component of measles elimination strategies. Results from a case-based measles surveillance system in Pune district (November 2009 through December 2011) are reported here with wider implications for measles elimination efforts in India.
Methods: Standard protocols were followed for case identification, investigation and classification. Suspected measles cases were confirmed through serology (IgM) or epidemiological linkage or clinical presentation. Data regarding age, sex, vaccination status were collected and annualized incidence rates for measles and rubella cases calculated.
Results: Of the 1011 suspected measles cases reported to the surveillance system, 76% were confirmed measles, 6% were confirmed rubella, and 17% were non-measles, non-rubella cases. Of the confirmed measles cases, 95% were less than 15 years of age. Annual measles incidence rate was more than 250 per million persons and nearly half were associated with outbreaks. Thirty-nine per cent of the confirmed measles cases were vaccinated with one dose of measles vaccine (MCV1).
Conclusion: Surveillance demonstrated high measles incidence and frequent outbreaks in Pune where MCV1 coverage in infants was above 90%. Results indicate that even high coverage with a single dose of measles vaccine was insufficient to provide population protection and prevent measles outbreaks. An effective measles and rubella surveillance system provides essential information to plan, implement and evaluate measles immunization strategies and monitor progress towards measles elimination.

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