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Int J Infect Dis ; 103: 338-342, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943190


OBJECTIVES: Quantitative estimates of the impact of infectious disease outbreaks are required to develop measured policy responses. In many low- and middle-income countries, inadequate surveillance and incompleteness of death registration are important barriers. DESIGN: Here, we characterize how large an impact on mortality would have to be for being detectable using the uniquely detailed mortality notification data from the city of Antananarivo, Madagascar, with application to a recent measles outbreak. RESULTS: The weekly mortality rate of children during the 2018-2019 measles outbreak was 161% above the expected value at its peak, and the signal can be detected earlier in children than in the general population. This approach to detect anomalies from expected baseline mortality allows us to delineate the prevalence of COVID-19 at which excess mortality would be detectable with the existing death notification system in Antananarivo. CONCLUSIONS: Given current age-specific estimates of the COVID-19 fatality ratio and the age structure of the population in Antananarivo, we estimate that as few as 11 deaths per week in the 60-70 years age group (corresponding to an infection rate of approximately 1%) would detectably exceed the baseline. Data from 2020 will undergo necessary processing and quality control in the coming months. Our results provide a baseline for interpreting this information.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Limit of Detection , Madagascar/epidemiology , Measles/epidemiology , Measles/mortality , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
BMC Infect Dis ; 20(1): 735, 2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835820


BACKGROUND: The pandemic of COVID-19 has occurred close on the heels of a global resurgence of measles. In 2019, an unprecedented epidemic of measles affected Samoa, requiring a state of emergency to be declared. Measles causes an immune amnesia which can persist for over 2 years after acute infection and increases the risk of a range of other infections. METHODS: We modelled the potential impact of measles-induced immune amnesia on a COVID-19 epidemic in Samoa using data on measles incidence in 2018-2019, population data and a hypothetical COVID-19 epidemic. RESULTS: The young population structure and contact matrix in Samoa results in the most transmission occurring in young people < 20 years old. The highest rate of death is the 60+ years old, but a smaller peak in death may occur in younger people, with more than 15% of total deaths in the age group under 20 years old. Measles induced immune amnesia could increase the total number of cases by 8% and deaths by more than 2%. CONCLUSIONS: Samoa, which had large measles epidemics in 2019-2020 should focus on rapidly achieving high rates of measles vaccination and enhanced surveillance for COVID-19, as the impact may be more severe due to measles-induced immune paresis. This applies to other severely measles-affected countries in the Pacific, Europe and elsewhere.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Measles/epidemiology , Measles/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Measles/immunology , Measles/prevention & control , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Samoa/epidemiology , Vaccination , Young Adult