Epidemiology and Infection

Exploring the time to intervene with a reactive mass vaccination campaign in measles epidemics

R. F. GRAIS a1c1, X. DE RADIGUÈS a1, C. DUBRAY a1, F. FERMON a2 and P. J. GUERIN a1
a1 Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, Paris, France
a2 Médecins sans Frontières, 8 rue Saint Sabin, Paris, France

Article author query
grais rf   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
de radigues x   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dubray c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
fermon f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
guerin pj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The current WHO policy during measles outbreaks focuses on case management rather than reactive vaccination campaigns in urban areas of resource-poor countries having low vaccine coverage. Vaccination campaigns may be costly, or not timely enough to impact significantly on morbidity and mortality. We explored the time available for intervention during two recent epidemics. Our analysis suggests that the spread of measles in African urban settings may not be as fast as expected. Examining measles epidemic spread in Kinshasa (DRC), and Niamey (Niger) reveals a progression of smaller epidemics. Intervening with a mass campaign or in areas where cases have not yet been reported could slow the epidemic spread. The results of this preliminary analysis illustrate the importance of revisiting outbreak response plans.

(Accepted October 18 2005)
(Published Online January 26 2006)

c1 Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. (Email: rebecca.grais@epicentre.msf.org)