Measles - tendency of Apr 21


Information about Measles

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Estimates based on modern molecular biology place the emergence of measles as a human disease sometime after 500 AD[118] (the former speculation that the Antonine Plague of 165–180 AD was caused by measles is now discounted). The first systematic description of measles, and its distinction from smallpox and chickenpox, is credited to the Persian physician Rhazes (860–932), who published The Book of Smallpox and Measles. [119] Given what is now known about the evolution of measles, Rhazes' account is remarkably timely, as recent work that examined the mutation rate of the virus indicates the measles virus emerged from rinderpest (cattle plague) as a zoonotic disease between 1100 and 1200 AD, a period that may have been preceded by limited outbreaks involving a virus not yet fully acclimated to humans. [118] This agrees with the observation that measles requires a susceptible population of >500,000 to sustain an epidemic, a situation that occurred in historic times following the growth of medieval European cities. [70]