A 2-year hospital-based survey of measles infections was carried out at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka, Zambia from January 1992 to December 1993. During this period, a total of 1066 children with a clinical diagnosis of measles were admitted to the paediatric isolation ward at UTH. Measles cases were seen throughout both 1992 and 1993. However, there was a peak from September to December, 1992. The number of cases decreased with age, and 370 (34.7%) were under 1 year old. It is noteworthy that 203 (19.0%) were less than the 9 months of age which is the recommended time for measles vaccination in Zambia. The overall case fatality rate was 12.6%, and was higher in children aged 0-3 years (14.3%) than in those aged 4 years and above (6.7%). Measles vaccination status could be checked from the child's immunization card for 343 measles cases over 9 months of age, 118 (34.4%) of these having previously received measles vaccine. Vaccinated children had a significantly lower case fatality rate (6.4%) than the unvaccinated group (17.0%). This suggests that while measles vaccine cannot prevent infection, it can reduce the severity of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health