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Central African Republic: Measles Outbreak - Jan 2020

Status
Ongoing
Countries
CAR
Disaster types
Epidemic

On 24 January, the Ministry of Health declared a national epidemic of measles. More than 3,600 cases were registered and 53 persons have died so far between February 2019 and January 2020. Several cases are reported in northern and central provincial towns such as Paoua, Vakaga, Nana-Gribizi, Batangafo, Bocaranga, Ngaoundaye and Bambari. The authorities are calling for support from technical partners and donors to scale up the response against the outbreak to immediately secure sufficient quantities of vaccines, targeting all children aged between 6 months and nine years old. (OCHA, 29 Jan 2020)

The measles outbreak in Central African Republic, formally declared by the Ministry of Health on 24 January 2020, is evolving rapidly in numbers and expanding geographically. The incidence cases have risen sharply in the last weeks, following weeks of a gradual decline in the weekly trend in December 2019. In week 6 (week ending 9 February 2020), a total of 82 suspected measles cases and no deaths were reported, compared to 195 cases and one death in week 5 and 483 cases and no deaths in week 4. Between weeks 1-6 of 2020, a total of 1 498 suspected measles cases, including 15 deaths (case fatality ratio 0.3 %) have been reported in 13 out of the 35 districts in the country. Of the 13 districts with active measles outbreaks, five have been newly affected in 2020, namely Bangui in an urban area, Baboua-Abba, Nangha-Boguila, Bossémbélé, and Ouango-Gambo in rural areas. The last two districts around Bangui 1 (Bangui II and Bangui III) in urban areas and Bouar, Bozoum in rural areas reported suspected measles cases. Laboratory tests are ongoing. The measles outbreak in Central African Republic has been ongoing since early 2019 (week 5 of 2019) and continued through to 2020. There was an upsurge in cases in the last half of 2019, with a steady decline in December 2019. From 1 January 2019 to 9 February 2020, a total of 5 724 suspected measles cases, including 83 deaths (case fatality ratio 1.45%) have been reported in 13 health districts (WHO, 16 Feb 2020)

Between weeks 1-9, 2020, a total of 6641 suspected measles cases were reported in 21 of the 35 districts in the country. Of these, 517 cases were confirmed positive for measles immunoglobulin (IgM+) at the Institut Pasteur of Bangui. The majority (72%) of affected people are in the age group of 0 to 4 years, followed by the age group 5 to 10 years (18%). Females represent 49% of affected people. Since the beginning of the measles outbreak in early 2019 (week 5 of 2019) till week 9, 2020, a total of 11 496 suspected cases and 108 deaths (case fatality ratio 0.9%) have been recorded from 21 districts across the country. (WHO, 15 Mar 2020)