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November 13, 1967

Palatine Petechiae in Rubella

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City

JAMA. 1967;202(7):665. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130200151041

To the Editor:—  In recent years a petechial eruption on the palate has been recognized frequently in patients with infectious mononucleosis.1-3 Some authors have felt it to be pathognomonic. On the other hand, the fact that an enanthema may accompany rubella has received only scant attention. This is surprising in view of the close clinical resemblance between these two diseases. Forchheimer in 1898 was the first to describe a palatine enanthema in rubella,4 but only a few modern textbooks mention in passing "red maculae" and "rose spots" on the soft palate and fauces. Accordingly the recent literature would lead one to believe that he could safely depend on the presence of palatine petechiae to distinguish infectious mononucleosis from rubella.That this is not so was demonstrated by studies of an epidemic of rubella among enlisted personnel at a large Air Force hospital between Jan 3 and April 29,