It is generally accepted as a proved fact that the contagium of measles is present in the blood stream during the late preeruptive and early eruptive stages of the disease. This was first conclusively demonstrated by Hektoen,1 who produced clinical measles in two adults by injecting them with ascites broth which had been inoculated with blood from a measles patient. Experiments with monkeys2 have confirmed the correctness of this view.
The epidemiologic evidence indicates with great probability that the contagium is present in the throat and nasal secretions just before the fastigium and at the height of the eruption, disappearing or becoming noninfectious with the fading of the rash. While both of these facts have been apparent for some time, and attempts to cultivate the specific organism from the blood and throat secretions had been made, little had been accomplished until Tunnicliff,3 in 1917, isolated a green,
CARY WE, DAY LA. THE ETIOLOGY OF MEASLES. JAMA. 1927;89(15):1206–1209. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690150016005
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