Outbreak report Open Access
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This paper reports the study of outbreaks of an acute exanthematous disease among children of three schools in the municipality of Braga (Portugal). Laboratory tests were performed for five cases, showing that the disease was not due to infection by measles or rubella virus, and infection with parvovirus B19 was confirmed. There were 41 cases in children: 12 in the kindergarten, 17 in the secondary school and 12 in the primary school. There was only one case in a staff member, who worked in the kindergarten. Eight cases were identified among household contacts; two of them were brothers, one from the kindergarten and another from the secondary school, where the outbreak occurred after the kindergarten outbreak. The estimated values of the basic reproduction number R0 were very low and it is very likely that asymptomatic infectious cases have occurred. The local health authority produced written documents and met with staff members and parents. Primary healthcare facilities and the obstetric department of the local hospital were also informed. As we are approaching the elimination of measles in Portugal and the rest of Europe, with very high vaccine coverage, it is very likely that a high proportion of infectious non-vesicular exanthemas will be due to B19 infections. This is to be taken into account in the design and conduct of surveillance activities, in the context of measles and rubella elimination programmes.


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