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March 1957

Measles in a Newborn Premature Infant

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, State University of Iowa College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(3):306-307. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040308015

It has long been appreciated that measles is a rare disease in the newborn infant due to passive transfer of antibodies from the mother to the fetus by way of the placenta.1,2 It has been a part of pediatric teaching to point out that this immunity is almost absolute for the first five months and relative up to the 8th month.3 Quite clearly, if the mother has never had measles, either clinical or subclinical, she will have no antibodies to pass on to her offspring.

The first case in the American literature was reported by Smith in 1870.4 From this time onward a total of 28 cases has been reported in both American and foreign journals.5-20 No cases have been reported in premature infants so far as this author has been able to discover. This may be due either to intrauterine death or to extrauterine death

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