Measles cluster at a university in the United Kingdom

Jenny Gamblin, Jane Maund, Iain Blair, Stuart C. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Measles remains an infection of public health importance. We describe a cluster of measles in a university setting between April and May 2007. Case presentation: The outbreak took place over a period of six weeks and involved nine students, eight of whom lived in halls of residence. Due to the potential for significant spread in an institutional setting, a public health investigation was initiated to identify the source of the outbreak. Follow up of cases was undertaken proactively with the university and local general practitioners. Salivary fluid test kits and questionnaires were sent to suspected cases. Seven salivary test kits were returned, but only one questionnaire was returned. Four cases were confirmed as measles. Although seven students had been previously immunised, immunity was only demonstrated in three. Conclusions: Public health investigations were hampered by the poor return rate of questionnaire and oral fluid sampling kits despite proactive follow up by public health staff, as well as the break for summer vacation. Nevertheless, our report highlights the public health effort in investigating such outbreaks and the importance of reinforcing immunisation to college and university students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number744
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Disease outbreaks
  • Immunization
  • Measles
  • Universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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