Measles and the canonical path to elimination

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6440, pp. 584-587
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau6299

The path to elimination

Measles is highly infectious and can be dangerous. The classic 1968 vaccine is highly effective, and it should be possible to eliminate measles. Graham et al. found that measles transmission changes as vaccination coverage and birth rates (that is, the rate of arrival of susceptible individuals into the population) change in a country in response to socioeconomic variables. As a result, measles everywhere follows the canonical mode of decline in response to vaccination campaigns. Incidence is initially high, and variability is low. As incidence declines, variability increases, and as incidence drops toward elimination, so does variability. It is possible to identify countries that are deviating from this expectation and to adapt their vaccination programs to regain the path to elimination.

Science, this issue p. 584

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.