Module on best practices for measles surveillance
Measles is a highly infectious disease that causes mortality in both developing and industrialized countries. It is estimated that in 1998 about 30 million people contracted measles and that 875 000 of them died. Measles vaccine provides long-term immunity against the disease. Adequately chosen and implemented vaccination strategies not only reduce mortality and morbidity but also interrupt the transmission of indigenous measles virus. The WHO/UNICEF Measles Mortality Reduction and Regional Elimination Strategic Plan, 2001-2005 (WHO/V&B/01.13) outlines the following strategies for reducing measles mortality: providing the first dose of measles vaccine to successive cohorts of infants; insuring that all children have a second opportunity for measles vaccination; enhancing measles surveillance with integration of epidemiological and laboratory information; improving the management of every measles case. The objective of this document is to provide guidelines to public health workers at all levels on the best measles surveillance practices.
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