Measles case fatality ratio in India: A review of community based studies

C. R. Sudfeld, N. A. Halsey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Context: Measles remains a major cause of child mortality in India. Measles case fatality ratios (CFRs) vary substantially between countries and even within the same community over time. We present a review of Indian community-based measles CFR studies conducted from 1975 to 2008. Evidence acquisition: PubMed, Cochrane Libraries, and all WHO databases were searched using a combination of terms. All community-based studies were abstracted into a database. Results: We identified 25 studies with data on 27 communities. The median CFR was 1.63 per 100 cases (Q1= 0.00 and Q3= 5.06). Studies conducted after 1994 had significantly lower CFRs (P=0.031). Studies in rural settings had significantly higher CFRs compared to urban studies (P=0.015). No differences were found by study design or outbreak/ endemic setting. Conclusions: This review suggests measles CFR may be declining in India. We hypothesize that increased measles vaccination coverage is the main factor contributing to the decline. Widespread vaccination increases both the average age of infection and the proportion of total measles cases previously vaccinated. Vitamin A treatment/supplementation is also likely to have contributed. In order to further reduce measles burden in India, vaccination and vitamin A treatment/ supplementation coverage should be increased and a two dose vaccine strategy should be implemented in all areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-989
Number of pages7
JournalIndian pediatrics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Case fatality rate
  • India
  • Measles
  • Mortality
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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