• Endemic juvenile hypothyroidism in a severe endemic goitre area of Sudan.

      Moreno-Reyes, R; Boelaert, M; el Badawi, S; Eltom, M; Vanderpas, J; Cemubac Medical Team, Public Health School, Free University of Brussels, Belgique. (1993-01)
      OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess thyroid function, iodine intake and exposure to dietary goitrogens of children living in an area with a high prevalence of goitre, in the region of Darfur, Sudan. DESIGN: In a village where goitre affected approximately 85% of children, a cross-sectional survey of thyroid function was performed in children 0-7 years old. PATIENTS: Twenty neonates and 190 children, aged 1 month to 7 years, were included. MEASUREMENTS: Thyroid hormones, urinary iodide and thiocyanate excretion were measured. RESULTS: Mean +/- SD serum T4 was below the normal range at birth (82 +/- 50 nmol/l) and in the age group less than 2 years (73 +/- 46). Children older than 2 years had even lower serum T4: 37 +/- 37 (P < 0.001) at 3-4 years and 36 +/- 38 (P < 0.001) at 5-7 years. Mean serum TSH was 25.8(6.2-107.7) mU/l at birth, 8.3(2.5-27.8) in the group less than 2 years, 15.3(2.9-79.1) at 3-4 years and 16.4(2.7-98.3) at 5-7 years. The overall prevalence of hypothyroidism (TSH > 50 mU/l) was 24%. Mean urinary thiocyanate was high at birth (107 +/- 69 mumol/l), normal in the group less than 2 years and higher in children older than 2 years (126 +/- 69 mumol/l) (P < 0.001). All age groups had a low urinary iodide concentration. CONCLUSION: Hypothyroidism was very frequent in each age group. The higher frequency of hypothyroidism observed in weaned children (> 2 years) was attributed to the combined effects of iodine deficiency and goitrogens (thiocyanate and glycosylflavones) derived from millet.
    • Estimates of measles case fatality ratios: a comprehensive review of community-based studies.

      Wolfson, Lara J; Grais, Rebecca F; Luquero, Francisco J; Birmingham, Maureen E; Strebel, Peter M; Health Security and Environment, World Health Organization, Geneva 27, Switzerland. wolfsonl@who.int (2009-02)
      BACKGROUND: Global deaths from measles have decreased notably in past decades, due to both increases in immunization rates and decreases in measles case fatality ratios (CFRs). While some aspects of the reduction in measles mortality can be monitored through increases in immunization coverage, estimating the level of measles deaths (in absolute terms) is problematic, particularly since incidence-based methods of estimation rely on accurate measures of measles CFRs. These ratios vary widely by geographic and epidemiologic context and even within the same community from year-to-year. METHODS: To understand better the variations in CFRs, we reviewed community-based studies published between 1980 and 2008 reporting age-specific measles CFRs. RESULTS: The results of the search consistently document that measles CFRs are highest in unvaccinated children under age 5 years; in outbreaks; the lowest CFRs occur in vaccinated children regardless of setting. The broad range of case and death definitions, study populations and geography highlight the complexities in extrapolating results for global public health planning. CONCLUSIONS: Values for measles CFRs remain imprecise, resulting in continued uncertainty about the actual toll measles exacts.
    • Measles outbreaks in the Mozambican refugee camps in Malawi: the continued need for an effective vaccine.

      Porter, J D; Gastellu-Etchegorry, M; Navarre, I; Lungu, G; Moren, A; Epicentre, Paris, France. (Oxford University Press, 1990-12)
      Between November 1988 and January 1989, measles outbreaks occurred in 11 Mozambican refugee camps in Malawi with five camps principally affected. A total of 1214 cases were reported. Despite the reduction of the age of measles vaccination to six months in 1987, attack rates were highest in children aged 6-9 months (10-26%); rates were also high in the 0-5 month age group (3-21%). The case-fatality rate was high among children less than five years old (15-21%). Children were being inappropriately vaccinated, either being vaccinated at less than six months of age (2-29%) or failing to receive a second dose if vaccinated at six months (0-25%). With vaccine coverage between 66-87%, vaccine efficacy in children less than five years old was estimated to be more than 90% in the camps principally affected. Reduction of the age of vaccination leads to logistical problems in vaccine delivery in refugee situations. These outbreaks again indicate the need to improve vaccine coverage with the existing Schwarz vaccine, and also highlight the urgent need for an effective single dose measles vaccine for children less than nine months of age.
    • Meningitis Serogroup W135 Outbreak, Burkina Faso, 2002.

      Nathan, N; Rose, A M C; Legros, D; Tiendrebeogo, S R M; Bachy, C; Bjørløw, E; Firmenich, P; Guerin, P J; Caugant, D A; Epicentre, Paris, France. (Published by Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2007-06)
      In 2002, the largest epidemic of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W135 occurred in Burkina Faso. The highest attack rate was in children <5 years of age. We describe cases from 1 district and evaluate the performance of the Pastorex test, which had good sensitivity (84%) and specificity (89%) compared with culture or PCR.