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March 1962

Measles in U.S. Army Recruits

Author Affiliations

Lt. Col. Joseph W. Cooch, MC, USA, Preventive Medicine Division, Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C.; Asst. Chief, Preventive Medicine Division, Office of The Surgeon General, Department of the Army.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):264-266. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020276017

Historically, measles has been a problem in mobilization camps. Through the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and World War I, recruit depots had very high incidence rates of this disease. During World War I, of an average annual strength of about 750,000 enlisted men in the U.S. Army in the United States, the average annual admission rate was about 40 per 1,000 strength.1

The decrease in the severity of measles and the sociological changes which increased its occurrence among children in the United States were followed by a considerable decrease in the incidence of measles in recruits during World War II. The morbidity rate for 1941, for example, was 9.8 per 1,000 as compared with the rate of 85.2 in 1917 (both these rates are for enlisted men in the United States, including Alaska). The rates for the subsequent years of World War II were

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