Measles outbreaks in the UK is it when and where rather than if? A database cohort study of childhood population susceptibility in Liverpool UK.

Wednesday, 5th of April 2017 Print

BMJ Open. 2017 Mar 30;7(3):e014106. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014106.

Measles outbreaks in the UK is it when and where rather than if? A database cohort study of childhood population susceptibility in Liverpool UK.

Keenan A1 Ghebrehewet S1 Vivancos R2 Seddon D3 MacPherson P145 Hungerford D46.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

There was a large outbreak of measles in Liverpool UK in 2012-2013 despite measles mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation uptake rates that were higher than the national average. We estimated measles susceptibility of a cohort of children born in Liverpool between 1995 and 2012 to understand whether there was a change in susceptibility before and after the outbreak and to inform vaccination strategy.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING:

The city of Liverpool North West UK.

PARTICIPANTS:

All children born in Liverpool (72 101) between 1995 and 2012 inclusive who were identified using the Child Health Information System (CHIS) and were still resident within Liverpool in 2014.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

We estimated cohort age-disaggregated and neighbourhood-disaggregated measles susceptibility according to WHO thresholds before and after the outbreak for children aged 1-17 years.

RESULTS:

Susceptibility to measles was above WHO elimination thresholds before and after the measles outbreak in the 10+ age group. The proportion of children susceptible before and after outbreak respectively: age 1-4 years 15.0% before and 14.9% after; age 5-9 years 9.9% before and 7.7% after; age 10+ years 8.6% before and 8.5% after. Despite an intensive MMR immunisation catch-up campaign after the 2012-2013 measles outbreak the overall proportion of children with no MMR remains high at 6.1% (4390/72 351). Across all age groups and before and after the outbreak measles susceptibility was clustered by neighbourhood with deprived areas having the greatest proportion of susceptible children.

CONCLUSIONS:

The risk of sustained measles outbreaks remains especially as large pools of susceptible older children will start leaving secondary education and continue to aggregate in higher education employment and other community settings and institutions resulting in the potential for a propagated measles outbreak.

 

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