Measles Case Fatality Rate in Bihar, India, 2011–12

Citation: Murhekar MV, Ahmad M, Shukla H, Abhishek K, Perry RT, et al. (2014) Measles Case Fatality Rate in Bihar, India, 2011–12. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96668. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096668
Published: May 13, 2014

measlesBackground: Updated estimates of measles case fatality rates (CFR) are critical for monitoring progress towards measles elimination goals. India accounted for 36% of total measles deaths occurred globally in 2011. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to estimate measles CFR and identify the risk factors for measles death in Bihar–one of the north Indian states historically known for its low vaccination coverage.
Methods: We systematically selected 16 of the 31 laboratory-confirmed measles outbreaks occurring in Bihar during 1 October 2011 to 30 April 2012. All households of the villages/urban localities affected by these outbreaks were visited to identify measles cases and deaths. We calculated CFR and used multivariate analysis to identify risk factors for measles death.
Results: The survey found 3670 measles cases and 28 deaths (CFR: 0.78, 95% confidence interval: 0.47–1.30). CFR was higher among under-five children (1.22%) and children belonging to scheduled castes/tribes (SC/ST, 1.72%). On multivariate analysis, independent risk factors associated with measles death were age
Conclusions: Measles CFR in Bihar was low. To further reduce case fatality, health authorities need to ensure that SC/ST are targeted by the immunization programme and that outbreak investigations target for vitamin A treatment of cases in high risk groups such as SC/ST and young children and ensure regular visits by health-workers in affected villages to administer vitamin A to new cases.


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