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Protection against measles

Abstract

In Britain measles affects about 90% of the population at some time in their lives; 200,000 to 800,000 cases are reported yearly in England and Wales. The pattern of biennial epidemic incidence has remained remarkably constant even during the past decade when the mortality has been low. Despite this, in 1963, an epidemic year, over 150 deaths were attributed to measles. The case mortality is highest in children under 1 year of age. Miller1 attempted to assess the morbidity by means of a questionnaire sent to practitioners and infectious diseases hospitals in 31 county boroughs. He concluded that in a country-wide epidemic 35,000 patients may be expected to have serious complications, including 2,000 with neurological disorders, 20,000 with respiratory disorders, and 13,000 with otitis media.

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