Measles is a well known vaccine preventable disease causing significant morbidity and mortality among children worldwide especially in developing countries like Ethiopia. A surveillance data was analyzed to describe measles cases epidemiologically and identify locations where case loads are high for further investigations. The National Measles/World Health Organization (WHO) guideline was used for case definitions and the final classification of cases. Selected variables from the database of the national measles surveillance data of 2005 to 2009 Ethiopia of were analyzed. Epi Info Version 3.5.1 and Microsoft Excel were also used for statistical analysis. A total of 17,521 cases and 127 deaths (Case Fatality Rate: 0.71%) were reported during 2005 to 2009. A total of incidence 5771 measles cases with an incidence of 7.6 per 100,000 populations were reported in 2008. The highest attack rate (12%) was observed in Hareri region. The majority (50.7% (8894)) of cases were from rural, 51.9% were males and the median age was 4 years old. About 4718 (26.9%) cases did not have a history of vaccination. Most IgM-antibody confirmed cases (40.5% (1216 of 3000)) were reported from Oromia region. The age group 1 to 4 years old constituted 41.7 (7323) and 34.4% (1032) of the suspected and IgM-antibody confirmed cases, respectively. Outbreaks occurred in Guji, West Arsi, West Haraghe and Sidama zones which showed the peaks of epicurve in January and February of 2008 and 2009. Except Tigray, Harar and Dire Dawa, all regions reported outbreaks. Although the national measles vaccination coverage in Ethiopia reached 72.2% in 2008, five regions were under 55% and repeated outbreaks were observed. Therefore, regions should improve measles vaccination coverage and early case detection. The seasonality of disease transmission and causes of outbreaks for the identified locations needs also further investigation and research.
Key words: Measles epidemiology, IgM antibody, surveillance data, Ethiopia.
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