Pan African Medical Journal

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Epidemiology and clinical characteristics of the Measles outbreak in the Nylon Health District, Douala Cameroon: a retrospective descriptive cross sectional study

Gerald Etapelong Sume, André Arsène Bita Fouda, Marie Kobela, Salomé Nguelé, Irène Emah, Peter Atem, Daddy Mbida, Kondé Njock


Introduction: Measles is a public health problem especially in South Asia and Africa. Nylon Health District has experienced two measles outbreaks over a period of three years. We hereby describe the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of the outbreak of February 2011. Methods: A retrospective descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in November 2011. All suspected measles cases according to the World Health Organization case definition line listed in the district service were included. Data was analyzed using Epi Info version 3.5.3 for Windows and Microsoft Office Excel 2010. An epidemic curve was drawn and proportions per variable category were estimated and presented in frequency tables. Results: The outbreak started from the 4th to the 25th epidemiological week of 2011 with a peak on the 10th week after onset. The attack and case fatality rates were 34/100000 inhabitants and zero respectively. Females and infants aged 9-59 months represented 97(63.4%) and 75(49%) of cases respectively. Bonadiwoto health area alone had 81(52.9%) of cases. Of the 153 cases, only 34(22.2%) had a card-confirmed measles vaccination status. Active community surveillance permitted the identification of 42(27.5%) cases. Conclusion: Low measles vaccine coverage rate over the past years in the Nylon health district led to the accumulation of susceptible individuals which coupled with poor environmental conditions favoured inter-human spread of measles. Developing novel strategies to vaccinate every child, especially the Hard-to-Reach in the slums of the district will help to prevent future outbreaks.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 13:66

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