Epidemiology of measles in Blantyre, Malawi: analyses of passive surveillance data from 1996 to 1998

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Yamaguchi, S. ; Dunga, A. ; Broadhead, R. L. ; Brabin, Bernard

Measles surveillance data in Blantyre, Malawi were reviewed for 1996-8 to describe the epidemiology of infection and to estimate vaccine efficacy (VE) by the screening method. A total of 674 measles cases were reported to the Blantyre District Health Office during this period. Age distribution showed that 108 (16.1 %) of the cases were aged less than 1 year. The median age was 5 years. Eighty percent of the cases between 1 and 19 years had been previously vaccinated. VE was 68.6 % (95 % CL 52.7-79.2) for children 12-23 months of age and 67.3 % (95 % CI, 48.3-79.3) for infants 9-11 months of age. Reasons for this low vaccine efficacy are discussed. Previous vaccination history was negatively associated with the risk for developing cough during measles infection (odds ratio (OR), 0.30; 95 % CI, 0.09-0.91), diarrhoea (OR, 0.64; Cl, 0.44-0.95) and pneumonia (OR, 0.40; CI, 0.25-0.62). Logistic regression analysis showed that pneumonia in adults was negatively associated with vaccination history. The passive surveillance system for measles in Malawi was useful to describe the epidemiology of measles.
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