Volume 17, Issue 36, 06 September 2012
Surveillance and outbreak reports
A report on the large measles outbreak in Lyon, France, 2010 to 2011
by C Huoi, JS Casalegno, T Bénet, A Neuraz, G Billaud, D Eibach, Y Mekki, R Rudigoz, J Massardier, C Huissoud, M Massoud, P Gaucherand, O Claris, Y Gillet, D Floret, B Lina, P Vanhems
In 2010 and 2011, the city of Lyon, located in the Rhône-Alpes region (France), has experienced one of the highest incidences of measles in Europe. We describe a measles outbreak in the Lyon area, where cases were diagnosed at Lyon University hospitals (LUH) between 2010 and mid-2011. Data were collected from the mandatory notification system of the regional public health agency, and from the virology department of the LUH. All patients and healthcare workers who had contracted measles were included. Overall, 407 cases were diagnosed, with children of less than one year of age accounting for the highest proportion (n=129, 32%), followed by individuals between 17 and 29 years-old (n=126, 31%). Of the total cases, 72 (18%) had complications. The proportions of patients and healthcare workers who were not immune to measles were higher among those aged up to 30 years. Consequently, women of childbearing age constituted a specific population at high risk to contract measles and during this outbreak, 13 cases of measles, seven under 30 years-old, were identified among pregnant women. This study highlights the importance of being vaccinated with two doses of measles vaccine, the only measure which could prevent and allow elimination of the disease.