Susceptibility to measles and varicella in healthcare workers in a tertiary hospital in Catalonia

María Isabel Fernández-Cano, Lluís Armadans, Elena Sulleiro, Meritxell Espuga, Esther Ferrer, Xavi Martínez-Gómez, Josep Vaqué, Magda Campins

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: To estimate the susceptibility to measles and varicella (chickenpox) in healthcare workers in a public tertiary level teaching hospital, in Catalonia. Methods: A prevalence study was conducted from January 2006 to December 2008 on 2,752 workers who had serology performed for the determination of measles or varicella by ELISA test during a health examination. Data were analysed by, sex, age, professional category and work unit. Results: A total of 153 healthcare workers were susceptible to measles and 187 to varicella. The susceptibility of healthcare workers to measles was 6.04% (95% CI: 5.78 to 6.30), and to varicella it was 7.45% (95% CI: 7.14 to 7.75). The highest susceptibility to measles was in resident physicians with 14% (95% CI: 10.8 to 18.5). In high-risk services, where highly immunocompromised patients are attended, the susceptibility of workers was slightly higher than the rest to measles (6.32% vs 5.93%) and varicella (8.34% vs 7.09%). Healthcare workers born after 1980 were 20 times (95% CI: 11.0 to 37.2) more likely to be susceptible to measles, and 2 times (95% CI: 1.2 to 3.2) more likely to be susceptible to varicella than those those born before 1965. Conclusions: The susceptibility to measles in healthcare workers in our centre is higher in younger cohorts, with values higher than expected in a community with high vaccination coverage against measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) in the paediatric population for many years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-188
JournalEnfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiologia Clinica
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Chickenpox
  • Health Personnel
  • Immunity
  • Measles
  • Seroprevalence
  • Varicella


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