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March 1962

Measles as a Universal Disease

Author Affiliations

G. S. Wilson, M.D., F.R.C.P., Director, Public Health Laboratory Service, England and Wales, London, England.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):219-223. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020231004

Abraham Horwitz, M.D. Chairman

I need hardly say how honored I am to have been asked to open the discussion at this International Conference on Measles Immunization. It is a great privilege to receive such an invitation and a great pleasure to have the opportunity of coming to this friendly country again and meeting those who have contributed so much to our knowledge of the disease. There is nothing new that I can say about measles, and I propose therefore to give a brief review of the more general features of the disease, particularly in relation to its epidemiology and immunity.

Nomenclature  There is some doubt about the origin of the name measles. Most probably it comes from the Latin term misellus or misella, itself a diminutive of the Latin miser, meaning miserable, which was given to the inmate of a medieval leper house. It was used in this way

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