Elona Kureta1, Alma Robo1, Artan Simaku1, Erida Nelaj1, Eugena Tomini1, Anisa Xhaferri1, Albana Fico1,2, Silvia Bino1,2
1 Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Aim: Measles is a disease with a high impact in public health despite vaccination against it. The purpose of this study is to describe the spread of measles disease in the population based on the epidemiological triad place- person-time.
Methods: This is a descriptive study. Data were obtained from the case-based Surveillance System for Measles collected at the Institute of Public Health. The analysis was performed in EpiInfo 7 and Excel 2013.
Results: A total of 832 suspected cases of measles were reported. Confirmed cases were 381 of which 379 are laboratory-tested and 2 with an epidemiological link to a confirmed case. The highest number of cases was reported during March 2019. The incidence of measles for the 2019 is 13.6 cases / 100 000 inhabitants. 93 (24%) of the confirmed cases have been vaccinated with at least one dose. The age group <2 years has the highest percentage of positive samples (33.3%). The median age of females is 16 years and that of males is 12 years. Tirana was the most affected district (48%) followed by Lezha (15%) and Gjirokastra (4.7%). Only 2 cases of death were registered.
Conclusions: This outbreak affected the entire country compared to previous outbreaks. The most affected age groups were among children who did not reach the age of vaccination or postponed it. Tirana had the major burden of this epidemic as there has been a declining in vaccine coverage in recent years. Timely vaccination according to the national calendar, implementation of hospital infection control measures and case isolation were the main measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
Keywords: epidemiology, infectious diseases, measles, outbreak.