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Measles Virus Transmission, Uganda | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 1–January 2011
Volume 17, Number 1–January 2011
Possible Interruption of Measles Virus Transmission, Uganda, 2006–2009

Frederick N. Baliraine, Comments to Author Josephine Bwogi, Henry Bukenya, Ronald Seguya, Theopista Kabaliisa, Annet Kisakye, William B. Mbabazi, and Sheilagh B. Smit

Author affiliations: University of California, San Francisco, California, USA (F.N. Baliraine); Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe, Uganda (J. Bwogi, H. Bukenya, R. Seguya, T. Kabaliisa); Uganda National Expanded Program for Immunization, Entebbe (A. Kisakye); World Health Organization, Kampala, Uganda (A. Kisakye); Management Sciences for Health/Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems, Juba, Sudan (W.B. Mbabazi); and National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa (S.B. Smit)

Suggested citation for this article

To determine what measles virus genotype(s) circulated in Uganda after strategic interventions aimed at controlling/eliminating measles, we examined samples obtained during 2006–2009 and found only genotype B3.1, which had not been previously detected. Kenya was the likely source, but other countries cannot be excluded.

In October 2002, Uganda implemented a 5-year (2002–2006) accelerated measles control strategy that began with a vigorous attempt to interrupt all chains of measles transmission by using a 5-day countrywide vaccination campaign. This brisk catch-up campaign was preceded by vaccine potency tests; meticulous planning to ensure political, religious, and tribal leaders' support; spirited social mobilization; training of health care workers and volunteers; and adequate provision of vaccination and cold chain materials at all vaccination posts, some of which were improvised structures (e.g., tents, schools, or under trees) for easy access. Community education was particularly vital to dispel commonly held myths that vaccinating children against measles or taking children having measles to the hospital (i.e., using foreign medicine) increases the risk for death. About 13.5 million (≈0.5 million above target) children ages 6–168 months were vaccinated, giving a national measles vaccine coverage rate of 104% (1). This was followed by keep-up campaigns in 15 high-risk districts for children ages 6–23 months in February 2005 and in April 2005 for all previously unvaccinated children ages 9–59 months. Uganda was virtually measles free in 2003–2005, but outbreaks resurfaced in 2006. Subsequently, nationwide follow-up supplemental measles vaccination campaigns were conducted for children ages 6–59 months during August–November 2006 (1) and for children ages 9–47 months in June 2009.

Virologic surveillance before initiating accelerated measles control activities enables genotypes to be cataloged in a country both before and after vaccination campaigns, which together with standard epidemiologic data can help detect imported viruses and evaluate control strategies (2). In Uganda, measles virus isolation began in 2000 (3). Our study sought to determine the measles virus genotype(s) circulating in Uganda after strategic interventions aimed at controlling/eliminating measles in the country were implemented.

Measles Virus Transmission, Uganda | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article

Baliraine FN, Bwogi J, Bukenya H, Seguya R, Kabaliisa T, Kisakye A, et al. Possible interruption of measles virus transmission, Uganda, 2006–2009. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Jan [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1701.100753

Comments to the Authors

Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Frederick N. Baliraine, University of California, Department of Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Ave, PO Box 0811, San Francisco, CA 94143-0811, USA;

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