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September 4, 1991

Measles in New York City

Author Affiliations

The City of New York (NY) Department of Health

The City of New York (NY) Department of Health

JAMA. 1991;266(9):1220. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470090054029

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To the Editor.  —That measles is not a benign disease of childhood has been made painfully clear in the current outbreak in New York City. Among the more than 2000 reported measles cases in 1990 and the 3000 cases reported in the first 5 months of 1991, there have been 19 measles-associated deaths.The demographic characteristics of the deaths are different from the 1990 confirmed New York City cases. The New York City outbreak is concenated in preschool Latino (six deaths) and African-American (nine deaths) children; the remaining four deaths occurred in white children. Nearly one third of the cases that occurred in 1990 were in children under 1 year of age, and 70% of the cases overall occurred in children under 5 years of age (mean, 12.2 years [range, 6 months to 38 years]; median, 7 years). In comparison, only two (11%) of the deaths in 1991 were in