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February 17, 1962


JAMA. 1962;179(7):565-566. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050070087016

The first authentic clinical description of measles is said to have been by the Persian physician, Rhazes, more than 1,000 years ago.1 Today the diagnosis of the typical case of measles, with fever, conjunctivitis, photophobia, rash, Koplik spots, and cough, is easy. However, recognition of the atypical case—the case modified by administration of gamma globulin—is not always so easy.

It has been known for a long time that measles is associated with a viremia. Recently, Gresser and Katz2 demonstrated that there is also a viruria. The multinucleated giant cells which are formed in response to infection with measles virus—the Warthin-Finkeldey cells—have been found in prodromal measles in the appendix, the tonsils, and in the mucosa of the respiratory tract. Tompkins and Macaulay found them also in nasal secretions of some individuals who had been exposed to measles and given sufficient gamma globulin to prevent Koplik spots and rash.

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