From 1 January through 19 December 2019, a total of 124 laboratory confirmed cases of measles, including two deaths, were reported in the Gaza Strip (case fatality ratio=1.6%). Of the confirmed cases, forty-nine cases (40%) were hospitalized, 12 were among health care workers, and seventy-five (60%) were males. Gaza Strip has an estimated population of 1.99 million (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics-2019).
In addition, of the confirmed cases, 57 cases (46%) were un-vaccinated, of which 28 (23%) were among infants between 6 months to one year old, and 29 (23%) among age groups higher than 30 years old. Between 2009 and 2018, the median administrative immunization coverage for the second dose of measles-containing-vaccine (MCV2) was 97%.
The immunization strategy in Gaza Strip includes measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine given to children at 12 and 18 months of age (MMR introduced in 1988 as single dose, and second dose introduced at 18 months of age in 2009).
Since the establishment of the indicator-based surveillance in Gaza Strip in 1986, no measles cases were reported in Gaza Strip except one confirmed case in 2000.
Public health response