• Estimating transmission intensity for a measles epidemic in Niamey, Niger: lessons for intervention.

      Grais, RF; Ferrari, M J; Dubray, C; Bjørnstad, O N; Grenfell, B T; Djibo, A; Fermon, F; Guerin, P J; Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. rebecca.grais@epicentre.msf.org (Elsevier, 2006-09)
      The objective of this study is to estimate the effective reproductive ratio for the 2003-2004 measles epidemic in Niamey, Niger. Using the results of a retrospective and prospective study of reported cases within Niamey during the 2003-2004 epidemic, we estimate the basic reproductive ratio, effective reproductive ratio (RE) and minimal vaccination coverage necessary to avert future epidemics using a recent method allowing for estimation based on the epidemic case series. We provide these estimates for geographic areas within Niamey, thereby identifying neighbourhoods at high risk. The estimated citywide RE was 2.8, considerably lower than previous estimates, which may help explain the long duration of the epidemic. Transmission intensity varied during the course of the epidemic and within different neighbourhoods (RE range: 1.4-4.7). Our results indicate that vaccination coverage in currently susceptible children should be increased by at least 67% (vaccine efficacy 90%) to produce a citywide vaccine coverage of 90%. This research highlights the importance of local differences in vaccination coverage on the potential impact of epidemic control measures. The spatial-temporal spread of the epidemic from district to district in Niamey over 30 weeks suggests that targeted interventions within the city could have an impact.
    • Time is of the essence: exploring a measles outbreak response vaccination in Niamey, Niger.

      Grais, RF; Conlan, A J K; Ferrari, M J; Djibo, A; Le Menach, A; Bjørnstad, O N; Grenfell, B T; Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. rebecca.grais@epicentre.msf.org (The Royal Society Publishing, 2008-01-06)
      The current World Health Organization recommendations for response during measles epidemics focus on case management rather than outbreak response vaccination (ORV) campaigns, which may occur too late to impact morbidity and mortality and have a high cost per case prevented. Here, we explore the potential impact of an ORV campaign conducted during the 2003-2004 measles epidemic in Niamey, Niger. We measured the impact of this intervention and also the potential impact of alternative strategies. Using a unique geographical, epidemiologic and demographic dataset collected during the epidemic, we developed an individual-based simulation model. We estimate that a median of 7.6% [4.9-8.9] of cases were potentially averted as a result of the outbreak response, which vaccinated approximately 57% (84563 of an estimated 148600) of children in the target age range (6-59 months), 23 weeks after the epidemic started. We found that intervening early (up to 60 days after the start of the epidemic) and expanding the age range to all children aged 6 months to 15 years may lead to a much larger (up to 90%) reduction in the number of cases in a West African urban setting like Niamey. Our results suggest that intervening earlier even with lower target coverage (approx. 60%), but a wider age range, may be more effective than intervening later with high coverage (more than 90%) in similar settings. This has important implications for the implementation of reactive vaccination interventions as they can be highly effective if the response is fast with respect to the spread of the epidemic.