Sero-Epidemiological Study of Outbreak of Measles among Children in Diyala – 2009


Background: Measles is a serious infectious disease in children. Despite reaching global measles vaccination coverage of 80% of individuals, measles virus (MV) remains the fifth leading cause of death and the most common cause of vaccine-preventable death in children under 5 years of age. Objectives: to determine the sero-epidemiological characters of the outbreak of measles among children in Diyala province in 2009.Subjects and methods: This study was done during the outbreak of measles in Diyala provinc ( spring and summer of 2009) in Al-Batool hospital of Pediatrics and Gynecology at Baquba city during a 2-month period from 1 April 2009 to 1 June 2009. A sample of 103 child patients presented with clinically suspected measles was studied by thorough history and physical examination with a determination of immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies in serum by enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay ( ELISA) testing for measles for each patient. Results: There was 58.3% (66 out of 103) positive blood samples for IgM of measles in children with clinically evident measles. The study showed that there was no significant difference in the distribution of children with measles positive by IgM according to their age and sex, according to residency, according to mothers′ previous vaccination status or previous infection with measles. On the other hand, the study revealed that the distribution of IgM positive measles was significantly more (p<0.05) in children who did not receive previous measles vaccine than those who received vaccination, and in children with low & medium economic status families than those with good status, respectively. Conclusion: It was concluded that the single serum assay of IgM antibodies by ELISA testing has medium sensitivity in the diagnosis of measles in children, there is an increasing susceptibility of infection with measles for infant less than one year of age and for children with poor family economic status.