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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


BENAVIDES-LARA, Adriana; CAMACHO-BADILLA, Kattia  and  MORICE-TREJOS, Ana. Retrospective search for Congenital Rubella Syndrome in children under one year. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2014, vol.56, n.3, pp.101-108. ISSN 0001-6002.

Background: Costa Rica established in 2000 the goal to eradicate rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Official surveillance data reports the last confirmed autochthonous case in 2001. In order to assess if such goal was achieved, this study analyzed the quality of surveillance through a retrospective search, in order to determine if there were cases not identified by the current surveillance system. Methods: We used three data bases from the National Children’s Hospital “Dr. Carlos Sáenz Herrera”, to identify cases of children under one year suspicious for CRS, born between January 2003 and December 2007: hospital discharges, congenital cataract cases referred to the Ophthalmology Department and children with positive lab tests for rubella IgM. By reviewing medical records, we assessed whether the cases identified followed the applicable surveillance protocol. We applied the WHO definitions of suspected, probable, confirmed and congenital rubella infection to classify cases. A cumulative incidence of compatible CRS cases (probable + confirmed) was estimated. Results: 409 medical records were reviewed and 369 suspicious cases were identified. Of these, 191 were dismissed, 1 had a congenital infection, 9 were classified as probable and 2 were confirmed. The cumulative incidence of observed CRS was 2.5 per 100 000 live births (95% CI 1.0 to 4.1), with the last confirmed case in 2005. There were 166 cases that remained as suspicious, due to lack of information. Conclusions: In the eradication phase of congenital rubella syndrome, it is necessary to complement passive surveillance systems with active surveillance strategies that increase the sensitivity of the system and generate the information required to verify the achievement of public health goals.

Keywords : congenital rubella syndrome; surveillance; epidemiology.

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