Public Health Consequences of a 2013 Measles Outbreak in New York City

Sunday, 23rd of September 2018 Print

September 2018

Public Health Consequences of a 2013 Measles Outbreak in New York City

Jennifer B. Rosen MD1Robert J. Arciuolo MPH CPH1Amina M. Khawja MPH12; et alJie Fu PhD1Francesca R. Giancotti PhD1Jane R. Zucker MD MSc13

Author Affiliations

JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(9):811-817. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1024

 

Question: What is the burden of a measles outbreak on public health?

Findings:  This epidemiologic assessment and cost analysis of a 2013 measles outbreak in New York City New York found 58 cases of measles infection and 3351 exposed contacts with 78% of the age-eligible cases unvaccinated owing to refusal or intentional delay. Total direct costs to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene were $394 448 and 10 054 personnel hours were consumed responding to and controlling the outbreak.

Meaning:  Measles vaccine refusals or delays can lead to large outbreaks following measles importations with costly and resource intensive response and containment.

Abstract

Importance: Internationally imported cases of measles into the United States can lead to outbreaks requiring extensive and rapid control measures. Importation of measles from an unvaccinated adolescent in 2013 led to what has been the largest outbreak of measles in New York City New York since 1992.

Objective: To describe the epidemiology and public health burden in terms of resources and cost of the 2013 measles outbreak in New York City.

Design Setting and Participants  This epidemiologic assessment and cost analysis conducted between August 15 2013 and August 5 2014 examined all outbreak-associated cases of measles among persons residing in New York City in 2013.

Exposures: Measles virus.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Numbers of measles cases and contacts. Total personnel time and total direct cost to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) calculated as the sum of inputs (supplies and materials equipment and logistics) and personnel time (salary and fringe benefits).

Results:  Between March 13 2013 and June 9 2013 58 persons in New York City with a median age of 3 years (range 0-32 years) were identified as having measles. Among these individuals 45 (78%) were at least 12 months old and were unvaccinated owing to parental refusal or intentional delay. Only 28 individuals (48%) visited a medical health care professional who suspected measles and reported the case to the DOHMH at the initial clinical suspicion. Many case patients were not immediately placed into airborne isolation resulting in exposures in 11 health care facilities. In total 3351 exposed contacts were identified. Total direct costs to the New York City DOHMH were $394 448 and a total of 10 054 hours were consumed responding to and controlling the outbreak.

Conclusions and Relevance: Vaccine refusals and delays appeared to have propagated a large outbreak following importation of measles into the United States. Prompt recognition of measles along with rapid implementation of airborne isolation of individuals suspected of measles infection in health care facilities and timely reporting to public health agencies may avoid large numbers of exposures. The response and containment of measles outbreaks are resource intensive.

 

Special Postings

;

Highly Accessed

Website Views

2041968