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Progress in Measles and Rubella Elimination — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 6, 2013

Progress in Measles and Rubella Elimination

By Cara Adler

Eradication of measles and rubella in the U.S. — first documented in 2000 and 2004, respectively — was sustained through 2011, according to a JAMA Pediatrics study.

Researchers examined national data on the two conditions after eradication through 2011. They noted 911 measles cases, with an annual incidence below 1 case per 1 million population. In addition, 72 cases of rubella were reported, and the incidence remained below 1 per 10 million. Overall, 88% of measles and 54% of rubella cases were linked to importation; the remaining cases "were insufficient to represent endemic transmission," the researchers report.

Meanwhile, globally, there has been "substantial progress" in rubella elimination, according to an MMWR article. Some 94,000 rubella cases were reported in 174 countries in 2012, representing an 86% drop from the number reported in 2000. In addition, from 2000 to 2012, the proportion of countries that included rubella vaccines in their immunization programs increased from 51% to 68%.

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