Successful public health response to four cases of imported measles in Panama
In Panama, the last endemic cases of measles occurred in 1995. In this paper, we report four cases of imported measles in three girls and one boy after they returned from a trip to Poland and Israel between 28 April and 11 May 2011. The etiologic diagnosis of the four cases was confirmed by detection of IgM antibodies against measles virus and positive polymerase chain reaction using measles-specific primers. All cases had genotype D4 with close genetic similarity to virus reported from Poland. Public health interventions included isolation of the cases in their homes and an extensive search for and vaccination of contacts of the four cases, regardless of their vaccination status. A nationwide vaccination campaign was also implemented after the first case was identified. A total of 70,950 measles vaccine doses were administered in Panama in the two months following the identification of these cases. In addition, 94,179 persons were confirmed to have their immunization schedule up-to-date and did not receive the vaccine. No secondary cases were detected in Panama in the following six months.
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