Adelina Nikolla1, Elona Kureta2, Alma Robo2, Iria Preza2, Erida Nelaj2, Erjon Muhaxhiri2, Evelina Malci1, Drane Ndoja1, Silva Bino2,3
1 Local Health Care Unit, Lezha, Albania;
2 Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
3 Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Purpose: Lezha was among the prefectures with measles cases during the 2018 outbreak in Albania.Thisprefecture includes important urban areas such as Lezha, Kurbini and Mirdita. Theobjective is to reportinvestigation and action taken during this outbreak.
Methodology: The laboratory testing confirmed the first case on January 2018. The epidemiological working group, took action through guidelines, bypracticing control and prevention measures which consisted in: isolation or self-isolation of the cases, use of masks and other standard equipment for infectious disease control and prevention through close contact vaccination and risk population.
Results: In Lezha, 69 cases were identified among 155 suspected cases (45%), where 29% (20 cases) were> 2 years oldand 17% (12 cases) were > 45years old, with one fatality case >1-year-old. In Kurbini, 13 cases were confirmed from 29 suspected cases (45%), where > 2 years old were 61,5 % (8 cases) and 15,4 % (4 cases) were between 2 – 4 years old. In Mirdita, 4 cases of the 8 suspected (50%) were confirmed and 50 % were in >2 years old. All cases were tested through ELISA, real-time PCR, or Vero Slam.In all the prefecture the majority of cases were unvaccinated or one dose measles vaccinated children.
Conclusions: Early detection and response through continuing education of health practitionersare important components in controlling the outbreak. On time vaccination, in children as indicated in the national schedule (at 1 and 5 years of age) as well as catch-up campaignsfor other groups was and it is crucial in preventing measles cases.
Keywords: measles, prevention measures, vaccination.