Measles in a highly vaccinated society: The 2007-08 outbreak in Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary Background Despite success in controlling measles through a national immunization program, Israel recently experienced its largest measles outbreak since 1994. Methods Using data reported by health district offices to the Ministry of Health, an epidemiological analysis of the 2007–08 measles outbreak was performed. Results 1467 measles cases were reported in Israel, primarily among ultra-orthodox Jewish communities in the Jerusalem Health District and to a lesser extent in other areas. The highest age-specific incidence rate (122.5 per 100,000) occurred among infants. 38.6% of all measles patients were under the age of five, and 53.4% were under the age of ten. 186 patients (12.7%) were hospitalized; there were no fatalities. Only 4.6% of measles patients had been fully vaccinated for their age. Conclusion To minimize the risk of future outbreaks in Israel, successful marketing of the MMR vaccine to under-vaccinated sub-groups is essential.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009