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3c.2 How common was measles before routine vaccination, and how common is it now?




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This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

3c.2 How common was measles before routine vaccination, and how common is it now?

*************************************************************************
From Anthony C.:

I havent finished reading this thread so pardon if someone else has
already posted this information

Rates of complications of measles and measles immunization
                        Measles per 10^5 Vaccine per 10^5
Encephalomylelitis      50-400          .1
sspe                    .5-2.0          .05-.1
Pneumonia               3800-1000       
Seizures                500-1000        .02-19
Deaths                  10-10000        .01

These statistics are worldwide, hence the variablility in numbers. The
higher rates of pneumonia and death represent figures collected from
India, Nambia, Nigeria, bangladesh and other countries with developing
health care industries.

As far as the number of people afflicted with measles in the US

        Cases           Deaths
1963    385,566         364     Inactivated measles type vaccine available
1964    458,093         421
1966    204,136         261     public health administration of vaccine
1967    62,705          81
1968    22,231          24
.
.hovers around 20-70,000
.
1977    57,345          15
1978    26,871          11
1979    13,597          6
1980    13,506          11
1981    3,032           2
1982    1,697           2
1983    1,497           4
1984    2,587           1
1985    2,822           4
1986    6,273           2
1987    3,588           2
1988    2,933           not available
1989    16,236          41
1990    26,520          97

Major foci of retransmission barring the complete elimination of measles:

1) unimmunized indigent, inner city youngsters.
2) illegal aliens.

I hope this is useful. My source is Zinsser microbiology, 20th edition
pages 1013-1015, joklik et al.
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As the above table shows, there was a marked increase in measles
incidence in the US from 1989 to 1991. This resulted in more than
50,000 cases including 125 deaths
(http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n21/paradx21.htm). Measles has been on
the decline again in the US since 1990 (MMWR Feb 4, 1994,
p. 57). Colleges enforcing the requirement for a second measles
vaccine report fewer measles outbreaks than schools with no
requirement (JAMA, Oct 12, 1994, p. 1127). (Both of these citations
from Journal Watch for Jan 15, 1995 - paper edition, or Feb 7, 1995 -
electronic edition.) During 1998, a provisional total of 100 measles
cases was reported to the CDC, making for a record low, 28% lower than
the 138 cases reported in 1997 (MMWR 48(34);749-753, 1999. Centers for
Disease Control).

 

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