Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 447-452

Measles outbreak in adults: A changing epidemiological pattern

1 Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Command Hospital, Southern Command, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Swati Bajaj
Station Health Organisation, 1-Napier Road, Wanawadi, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Thirty-one cases of fever with rash were reported among students of a college in Pune, India, from March to May 2014. The clinical profile was similar to that of measles and 7 of them tested positive for measles-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM). An outbreak of measles was declared, and epidemiological investigation was carried out to assess the situation and suggest preventive measures. Methods: An epidemiological case sheet filled for each case to identify the source and likely contacts. Medical and administrative authorities were sensitized about the increase in incidence and clustering of cases. A surveillance system was set up for detection of new cases and follow-up of contacts. Throat swabs and blood samples from 12 cases were tested by ELISA method for commonly occurring viral exanthematous fevers to confirm the diagnosis and 7 were positive for measles-specific IgM antibody. Preventive measures were advised to control the outbreak. Results: A total of 31 cases of fever with rashes were reported among students of a college in Pune, India, during the months of March–May 2014. Most of the students were in the age group of 18–24 years. Samples from 12 cases were sent for testing and 7 tested positive for measles-specific IgM antibodies. Seven cases were epidemiologically linked to a lab-confirmed case. All cases had fever, maculopapular rash, and sore throat and gave a history of vaccination for measles in childhood. Conclusion: An epidemiological investigation was carried out for outbreak of measles in a young adult population of college students from Pune. It is reported that, with increase in overall coverage of vaccination, there is a rise in incidence of measles in vaccinated individuals. The age profile also shifts to higher age groups. Investigation of such outbreaks provides an opportunity to identify high-risk groups, changes in measles epidemiology and weaknesses in the routine immunization programs.

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