Outbreak of measles in a teenage school population: the need to immunize susceptible adolescents

Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Oct;113(2):355-65. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800051785.


An outbreak of measles occurred in a community school and the surrounding area in Crowborough, East Sussex, UK, from December 1992 to February 1993. There were 96 suspected cases reported: 66 cases among 1673 students at one school and 30 community cases. The majority of suspected cases were in those aged 11-17 (78%), 2 cases occurred in infants < 1 year old and 8 cases in adults aged 18 years or over. Data collected on 60 (91%) of the 66 suspect school cases showed 56 (93%) had an illness which met a case definition of measles. Eighteen had confirmatory IgM measles antibody. Two cases were hospitalized. The local percentage uptake for measles immunization for the school age years affected varied between 64% and 84%. A survey of parents showed that approximately 74% of the students attending the school had a history of measles immunization. The immunization rates reported by parents for children who developed measles was 21%, (29% based on GP records) compared with 77% for those who remained well. Vaccine efficacy was estimated to be 92%. This outbreak, along with others recently reported in older unimmunized children in the UK, reinforces the need for catch-up immunization programmes to reach this susceptible group of adolescents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Infant
  • Measles / epidemiology*
  • Measles / immunology
  • Measles / prevention & control
  • Measles virus / immunology
  • Schools
  • Seasons
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin M