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Recommended Surveillance Measures

Testing of rubella in suspected cases for measles:
  • Blood samples from all rubella suspected cases that are IgM negative for rubella should be tested for measles within 24 hours.

  • In the case of laboratory-confirmed rubella (or dengue) outbreaks, the total number of samples that are negative for either rubella (or dengue) might be overwhelming. In such a case, the surveillance team, in conjunction with the laboratory, should decide which samples to test for measles.
Investigation and reporting:
  • The reporting system must cover health facilities, private practitioners, hospitals and laboratories and have at least one reporting source for every geopolitical unit;
  • Written material should be provided to all health personnel describing their responsibilities and how to report cases, collect samples and send them for laboratory confirmation;
  • Investigation of all suspected cases should take place within 48 hours of rash onset. It should include:
    • Filling the case report form,
    • Investigation of contacts of the suspected case to determine if other cases have occurred,
    • Taking blood samples and samples for viral isolation (usually urine) from all sporadic cases and from 5-10 cases from each outbreak.
  • Weekly reporting of data, even in the absence of cases, is critical;
  • Timely feedback to all participants of the surveillance system, keeping them informed of where and when cases are occurring, is essential;
  • The reporting system must be monitored monthly using the surveillance indicators;
  • Cooperation from the private medical community by reporting suspected cases to the system is essential for all surveillance efforts.

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