Measles, also known as Rubeola, has been around for centuries. In the 9th century, a Persian
doctor published the first written account regarding the disease. In 1757, a Scottish physician
discovered that measles is caused by an infectious agent in the bloodstream. By 1912, the U.S.
recognized measles nationally, requiring U.S. healthcare providers and laboratories to report all
diagnosed cases. More than 6,000 measles related deaths were reported each year within the first
decade. By 1960's, nearly all children acquired measles by the time they were 15 years old. It is
estimated that 3 to 4 million people in the U.S. were infected each year. Each year hundreds of people
died, thousands were hospitalized, and thousands suffered swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis,
from the measles infection.
A1. Details of International Outbreak:
Measles virus exposure from outside the U.S. as evidenced by rash onset 7-21 days before and
rash onset occurring with 21 days of entering U.S. is known as an internationally imported case.
However, if a patient had not been outside U.S. 21 days prior to rash or was known to have been
exposed within the U.S., this is recognized as U.S. acquired. Every 2 to 3 years, measles occurred in
cycles throughout U.S. Prior to 1912, measles was not a reportable disease, therefore accurate numbers
of cases are not available before that time. In 1920, the U.S. had 469,924 recorded measles incidents
and 7,575 deaths related to measles. 894,143 cases were reported in 1941. In 1954, John F. Enders and
Thomas C. Peebles isolated Morbillivirus, measles virus, in Boston. From 1958 to 1962, the U.S.
averaged 503,282 cases and 432 deaths associated with measles each year.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The virus normally grows
in the back of the throat and in the cells that line the lungs. Humans are the only natural host for