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Open Access Research article

Factors associated with a measles outbreak in children admitted at Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane, Laos

Mayfong Mayxay12, Tiengthong Khomthilat1, Phoutthalavanh Souvannasing1, Khamphouvanh Phounesavath1, Banlieng Vorasane1, Sommay Keomany1, Phouvieng Douangdala1, Khamseng Philavong3, Leila Srour4 and Paul N Newton25*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Post-Graduate studies and Research, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Laos, Vientiane, Lao PDR

2 Wellcome Trust – Mahosot Hospital – Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration, Vientiane, Lao PDR

3 Mother and Child Health Care Centre, Ministry of Health, Lao PDR

4 Health Frontiers, Vientiane, Lao PDR

5 Centre for Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:193  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-193

Published: 4 August 2007

Abstract

Background

In 2002 and 2003 there were large outbreaks of measles in many provinces of Laos, including in Vientiane. We therefore conducted a study to determine risk factors associated with measles amongst children admitted at Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane.

Methods

A retrospective case-control study was conducted in 50 children with clinical measles who were matched by age and sex with 50 healthy children (who had never had a febrile rash) living in the same villages as the cases.

Results

The proportion of children with complete immunizations was significantly lower in the group with clinical measles compared to the controls [13/50 (26%) vs 34/50 (68%), P < 0.001). The percentage of children who had received measles vaccine at 9–23 months of age was significantly lower in the group with clinical measles compared to the healthy controls [12/50 (24%) vs 24/50 (48%), P = 0.01). The family educational and socio-economic status did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between cases and controls.

Conclusion

These results emphasize the importance of intensification of measles immunization coverage in Laos. The strengthening of campaigns with large, widespread high second dose coverage is likely to be a key measure to prevent further measles outbreaks in Laos (192 words).