Reduced vaccination and the risk of measles and other childhood infections post-Ebola

Saki Takahashi, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Matthew J. Ferrari, William J. Moss, Shaun A. Truelove, Andrew J. Tatem, Bryan T. Grenfell, Justin Lessler

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Abstract

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has caused substantial morbidity and mortality. The outbreak has also disrupted health care services, including childhood vaccinations, creating a second public health crisis. We project that after 6 to 18 months of disruptions, a large connected cluster of children unvaccinated for measles will accumulate across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This pool of susceptibility increases the expected size of a regional measles outbreak from 127,000 to 227,000 cases after 18 months, resulting in 2000 to 16,000 additional deaths (comparable to the numbers of Ebola deaths reported thus far). There is a clear path to avoiding outbreaks of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases once the threat of Ebola begins to recede: an aggressive regional vaccination campaign aimed at age groups left unprotected because of health care disruptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1242
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume347
Issue number6227
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 13 2015

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Takahashi, S., Metcalf, C. J. E., Ferrari, M. J., Moss, W. J., Truelove, S. A., Tatem, A. J., Grenfell, B. T., & Lessler, J. (2015). Reduced vaccination and the risk of measles and other childhood infections post-Ebola. Science, 347(6227), 1240-1242. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa3438