Surgeon General Luther Terry, in his opening remarks, noted that in the past, and up to the present, every child was destined to contract measles and that the infection was frequently complicated and responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other acute infectious fever of childhood. He therefore looked forward to a valuable conference concerned primarily with the vaccine to prevent its occurrence.
Dr. Wilson noted that measles was a disease recognized by Rhazes, the Arabian physician, as distinct from smallpox, a disease known to Shakespeare, and a truly universal disease prevalent in all continents and among all peoples; a disease which is always pandemic. Infection seems to have occurred entirely from case to case, and healthy carriers are unknown. Infection results in overt illness in nearly all the individuals, with an attack rate ranging from 85% in the population of the large cities to 100% in
GEAR JHS. Report on Session I. Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):279-281. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020291020