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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases
On-line version ISSN 1678-4391
PURICELLI, Rubens C. B.; KUPEK, Emil and WESTRUPP, Maria Helena Bittencourt. Three decades of meningococcal disease in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2004, vol.8, n.3, pp. 241-248. ISSN 1678-4391. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-86702004000300008.
Consolidation of data on meningococcal disease surveillance for the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, has provided new insight about the evolution of this disease during the period of 1971-2000. A descriptive epidemiological study, based on retrospective analysis of all cases of meningococcal disease notified in the state of Santa Catarina, linked the surveillance data from the Secretary of the State of Health, magnetic tape records and the data from the national surveillance of diseases of obligatory notification. Following World Health Organization guidelines, cumulative incidence exceeding five cases per 100,000 inhabitants was considered indicative of an epidemic. Official population data from the Fundação Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística were used for the incidence denominator. During the 1971-2000 period, 7,893 cases and 1,354 deaths caused by meningococcal disease were reported. This corresponds to a mean of 263 cases and 45 deaths per year, with a mean incidence of 6.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a fatality rate of 17.2%. Three distinct epidemiological periods were identified, two of which can be considered epidemic. Two of three distinct epidemiological periods were characterized by an epidemic of meningococcal disease, covering 20 of the 30 years analyzed. Identification of the epidemics and preventive actions, such as vaccination and health education, contributed to the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to this disease.
Keywords : Meningitis; meningococcal disease; surveillance; vaccination; Brazil.