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Working to Eliminate Measles Around the Globe

Tuesday, June 16 at 1pm EDT

Infant with the measles

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can cause serious health complications. About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized and globally 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care. Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 146,000 people, mostly children, die from the disease each year. Yet measles can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine.

Due to a highly effective vaccination program, measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000.  However, in the past 5 years, global progress towards measles elimination has slowed and in some regions gains have been lost.  Recent outbreaks show how easily measles can be brought into the U.S. and other parts of the Americas by unvaccinated travellers who contract the virus while in other regions of the world.  Progress can continue and measles elimination can be achieved, but it will require commitment from each country and support of efforts in all parts of the globe.

Please join us for this session of Grand Rounds as we discuss the ways in which increased focus on field and laboratory surveillance, innovative vaccination solutions and investment of resources can accelerate progress towards the elimination of measles worldwide.

June 2015

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Peter Strebel discuss the ongoing challenges to eliminating measles worldwide. Measles is highly infectious, but it can be prevented with financial and political commitment by all countries around the globe.

Individuals should know that:

  • One case of measles anywhere poses risks everywhere,
  • On-time, routine vaccination is safe and effective and
  • Widespread vaccination coverage is key to elimination.


Presented By:

James L. Goodson, MPH
Senior Measles Scientist, Accelerated Disease Control and VPD Surveillance Branch
Global Immunization Division
Center for Global Health, CDC
The Measles & Rubella Initiative and Partnerships for Elimination  

Paul A. Rota, PhD
Measles Team Lead, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Herpesviruses Laboratory Branch
Division of Viral Diseases
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC
The Role of the Global Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network

Desiree Pastor, MD, MPH
Regional Immunization Advisor, Pan American Health Organization
Regional Offices for the Americas, World Health Organization
The Elimination of Measles in the Americas 

Peter M. Strebel, MBChB, MPH
Accelerated Disease Control Leader, Expanded Programme on Immunization
World Health Organization
Global Strategies to Eliminate Measles

Facilitated By:

John Iskander, MD, MPH, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH, Deputy Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Susan Laird, MSN, RN, Communications Director, Public Health Grand Rounds

Continuing Education

This session is available for Continuing Education. Click here for more information.

  • Page last reviewed: June 4, 2015
  • Page last updated: June 4, 2015
  • Content source: