Maintaining measles elimination status in Colombia during outbreak control, 2019

Prieto Alvarado et al.


Describe measles outbreaks caused by importation of multiple cases, and the corresponding control interventions.


Descriptive study of measles outbreaks caused by the importation of multiple cases to Colombia in 2018–2019. Case definitions, classification of source of infection, collection of biological specimens, searches for suspected cases, case identification, and contact tracing were employed. Vaccination records were obtained from vaccination cards or from the Colombian information system. Nationality was determined from records found in the public health surveillance system. The incident command system was used, and response teams and action plans were activated to control outbreaks.


In March 2018, the first case of measles imported from Venezuela was confirmed. Measles incidence in 2018 was 0.2 cases per 100 000 population, and it was 0.3 per 100 000 in 2019. The case fatality rate in 2019 was 0.4%. A total of 214 cases were confirmed in the Venezuelan population (91% with no vaccination history); and 69 outbreaks with no epidemiological link were studied. The MVi/Hulu Langat.MYS/26.11[D8] lineage was identified. Endemic circulation was prevented through innovative interventions such as infection surveillance and control, immediate notification, prioritization of field visits, and transmission risk level criteria.


Colombia controlled measles outbreaks that resulted from imported cases, and it prevented endemic circulation, thereby maintaining certification of measles elimination in the country.

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