Approximately 12 million American children have been immunized against measles since vaccine was licensed three years ago, and here has been a major decline in reported cases, Public Health Service officials say.
Preliminary PHS figures for 1965 show 266,222 reported cases in the United States, compared with 555,-156 a decade earlier. For the years in between, the annual reported measles total dropped below 400,000 only once (1963) in the United States, and went as high as 763,-094 in 1958.
"We estimate these reported cases were only 10% of the actual number," David J. Sencer, MD, chief of the PHS' Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, Ga, told JAMAMedical News. "Four or five hundred victims were dying each year."
Rubeola incidence shows periodic peaks, and past experience in the United States indicated extensive outbreaks might be expected early this year. But, for the first 17 weeks of 1966, reports have totaled