Measles outbreak investigation in a remote area of Solomon Islands, 2014

Diau, Jason, Jimuru, Christopher, Asugeni, James, Asugeni, Lyndell, Puia, Mike, Maomatekwa, John, Harrington, Humpress, MacLaren, David, Speare, Rick, and Massey, Peter D. (2015) Measles outbreak investigation in a remote area of Solomon Islands, 2014. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response, 6 (3). pp. 1-5.

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Abstract

Objective: To describe a measles outbreak and health service response in a remote location in Malaita, Solomon Islands.

Methods: Epidemiological review of cases who presented to the Atoifi Adventist Hospital (AAH) during the outbreak period from July to December 2014. Rumour surveillance was used to gather information on unreported cases.

Results: A total of 117 cases were reported to AAH. The incidence rate was 123 per 10 000 individuals. Fifty-six per cent (66/117) of cases were hospitalized. Children under 5 years had the highest number of cases (n = 41) with 10 cases below 6 months old. The age-specific incidence rate of children under 5 years was 278.5 per 10 000 individuals. Eighty-two per cent of reported cases were 18 years old or younger. Rumour surveillance revealed about three quarters of children in one area of the East Kwaio Mountains had suspected measles not reported to AAH. There were three unreported deaths from measles outside AAH. During the outbreak, a total of 2453 measles-rubella vaccines were given in the AAH catchment area.

Conclusion: A high incidence rate was observed in children and young people aged 18 years or younger, reflecting low childhood vaccination coverage. More than 50­% of cases required hospitalization due to disease severity and challenges of accessing health services. The rumour surveillance discovered many unreported cases in the mountain areas and a few deaths possibly linked to the outbreak. Improvement of registration methods and follow-up systems and setting up satellite clinics are planned to improve measles surveillance and vaccination coverage.

Item ID: 40436
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2094-7313
Keywords: measles, solomon islands, outbreak response, Atoifi research group
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Funders: United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO)
Projects and Grants: WHO grant 1-811001688
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 00:00
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111715 Pacific Peoples Health @ 75%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 75%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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