The prevalence of measles, rubella, mumps and chickenpox antibodies in a population of health care workers.

J Oliveira, S da Cunha, R Côrte-Real, L Sampaio, N Dais, A Meliço-Silvestre


We present an epidemiological and serological study in 409 health care workers randomly selected from the 4,103 workers of the University Hospital of Coimbra. A low level of susceptibility for measles (1.2%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.15-2.23%), rubella (2.4%; 95% CI: 0.9-3.9) and varicella (3.2%; 95% CI: 1.5-4.7%) and a very high one for mumps (17.3%; 95% CI: 13.7-21.1%), were found. Ineffectiveness of historical information in predicting immune status to all of these diseases was found. An economic analysis of preventive measures was done. A mumps vaccination policy for health care workers is recommended and the opportunity of measles and rubella vaccination is discussed, facing the results of this study. Continuous monitoring of these diseases is needed anticipating the changes in epidemiology that are expected to occur with childhood vaccination.

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