Volume 12, Number 4—April 2006
Highly contagious disease caused by a virus of the genus Morbillivirus, marked by an eruption of distinct, red, circular spots. From the Middle Dutch masel, “blemish.” References to the disease date back to at least 700
Sources: Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. 11th ed. Springfield (MA): Merriam-Webster Incorporated; 2003; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles history. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/nip/diseases/measles/history.htm; and World Health Organization. Measles mortality reduction and regional elimination. Available from http://www.who.int/vaccines-documents/DocsPDF01/www573.pdf.