Elimination of Measles, Rubella Sustained in the United States

Elimination of Measles, Rubella Sustained in the United States
Elimination of Measles, Rubella Sustained in the United States

(HealthDay News) – Sustained elimination of measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) has continued through 2011 in the United States, with most of the few cases seen linked to importation, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in JAMA Pediatrics.

To review the evidence of sustained elimination of endemic measles, rubella, and CRS from the United States, Mark J. Papania, MD, MPH, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the annual number and characteristics of cases, proportion of the population seropositive, and vaccination coverage levels up to 2011.

The researchers found that measles incidence has been under one per one million since 2001, rubella incidence has been under one per 10 million since 2004, and CRS incidence has been under one per five million births since 2004. International importation accounted for 88% of measles cases and 54% of rubella cases. There was no evidence of endemic transmission for the small number of cases not linked to importation, there were no endemic genotypes, and the surveillance system could detect endemic infection. The United States has high levels of population immunity based on vaccination rates and seroprevalence.

"Collectively, the very low disease incidences, the high proportions of importation-associated cases, the absence of endemic genotypes, the adequate surveillance, and the high levels of population immunity all indicate that the elimination of endemic measles, rubella, and CRS has been sustained in the United States," Papania and colleagues conclude.

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