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Epidemiology of Measles in the United States, 1997-2001

Mark J. Papania, Jane F. Seward, Susan B. Redd, Fabio Lievano, Rafael Harpaz and Melinda E. Wharton
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 189, Supplement 1. Progress toward Measles Elimination: Absence of Measles as an Endemic Disease in the United States (May 1, 2004), pp. S61-S68
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30075834
Page Count: 8
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Epidemiology of Measles in the United States, 1997-2001
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Abstract

Of the 540 measles cases (annual incidence, <1/million population) reported during 1997-2001 in the United States, 362 (67%) were associated with international importation: 196 imported cases, 138 cases epidemiologically linked to imported cases, and 28 cases associated with an imported measles virus genotype. The remaining 178 (33%) "unknown-source" cases were analyzed as potential evidence of endemic measles transmission. A total of 83 counties (2.6% of the 3140 US counties) in 27 states reported unknown-source cases; 49 counties reported only 1 unknown-source case, and the maximum reported by any county was 10. Nationally, unknown-source cases were reported in 103 of the 260 weeks. The largest unknown-source outbreak included 13 cases and lasted 5 weeks. The rarity of unknown-source cases, wide gaps in geographic and temporal distribution, and the short duration of the longest unknown-source outbreak indicate that endemic transmission of measles was not sustained in the United States during this period.

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