Research Articles

Measles Outbreak Investigation in Nomadic Population Nasirabad, Balochistan, Pakistan February 2018



Introduction: On 14 February 2018, the District Health Officer of Nasirabad reported 16 suspected measles cases from the nomadic population of Dera Murad Jamali to the disease surveillance and response unit of Quetta and requested an investigation. A FELTP fellow was deputed by the Director of General Health Services, Balochistan to investigate the outbreak, evaluate risk factors and recommend control measures.


Methodology: A purposive sampling technique was adopted and a case control study was planned and conducted. Case was defined as “acute onset of generalized maculopapular rash and fever with cough or coryza or conjunctivitis from 29 January to 20 February 2018 in a resident of Dera Murad Jamali”. Active case searches along with interviews were conducted through a semi structured questionnaire. Demographic, socioeconomic, clinical and epidemiological information was collected along with assessment of routine immunization. Five blood samples were sent for serology.


Results: A total of 49 cases (AR= 0.17%), including five deaths (CFR=10.2%), were identified. Males, 61% (n=30), were more affected. The median age was three years (age range=1-10 years). The age-group 0-4 years, 69% (n=34), was most affected. The median age group of controls were four years (age range 1-11 years). Of the cases, 71% were unimmunized for any routine antigen while 32% of controls were unimmunized. Pneumonia, 42.8% (n=21), and diarrhea, 38.7% (n=19), were the most common complications. All five samples were positive for measles IgM. Significant statistical association was found between nomadic populations having zero routine doses of measles containing vaccines (MCV1) (OR 2.85; CI 1.83 – 4.42; p value <0.0021) and developing measles.


Conclusion: Nomadic populations with low immunization was a probable cause of outbreak, resulting in the rapid spread of measles amongst susceptible individuals in the community. Laboratory tests confirmed the outbreak. As a control measure, measles mop-up vaccinations and six health education sessions were suggested and carried out. It was also recommended that proper outreach microplanning and regular pulse immunization should be adopted in future.


  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 2
  • DOI: 10.31646/gbio.70
  • Submitted on 10 May 2020
  • Published on 21 Jul 2020
  • Peer Reviewed