Arenc Brahimi1, Elona Kureta2, Alma Robo2, Erida Nelaj2
1 Local Health Care, Gjirokastra, Albania;
2 Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania.
Aim: The municipality of Gjirokastra has not reported any case of measles in the past years due to its high vaccine coverage, until 2018-2019 outbreak. The purpose of this study is to describe the spread of the 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 registered at the Directorate of Public Health of this municipality. The analysis was performed in EpiInfo 7 and Excel 2013.
Results: In 2019 a total of 62 cases of suspected measles were reported. Of these 18 (29%) were confirmed and 41(66%) probable and 3(5%) suspected. The highest number of cases were reported during May. All of confirmed cases were unvaccinated and 7 (%) of them were patients imported from Greece.
The pediatric age group has the highest percentage of positivity (72%). 89 % of confirmed cases were patients living in urban areas. The female were most affected (56%). All probable case had close contact with people of the Roma community, who were to have measles.
Conclusions: This outbreak affected unvaccinated people mainly from Roma community coming from Greece, the country that was the source of this infection. This was confirmed by phylogenetic analyses of the samples tested. The main measures to prevent the further spread of the disease consisted of close cooperation with the family physicians in each health care centre, timely vaccination of all contacts and children according to the national calendar, implementation of hospital infection control measures and self-isolation of cases.
Keywords: Gjirokastra, infectious diseases, measles, outbreak.