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January 1, 1968


JAMA. 1968;203(1):45. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140010047013

Fatal cases of disseminated infection have been described in neonates but only rarely in older children. However, a large series of autopsies of children 2 to 36 months old has recently been reported from South Africa by Kipps et al1 and Becker et al.2 These reports describe the epidemiology and pathogenesis of this disease and at the same time raise several important issues. The 93 cases reported from South Africa are more than the total for the rest of the world, and 50% of them were seen in one institution within a three-year period. Furthermore, there was a striking association of this disease with severe malnutrition or measles or both. If these are predisposing factors for dissemination of the infection, as the investigators suggest, why have similar cases not been reported from other countries where malnutrition and measles are prevalent in the age group in which primary herpes