Alba’s Doctors Missed It: Will yours?

High fever, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, and Koplik’s spots. I memorized these signs and symptoms of the Measles when I was a second-year medical student. I remember seeing the pictures in Shwartz Textbook of Physical Diagnosis and Zitelli’s Textbook of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. But, I don’t remember ever seeing a child infected with Rubeola during my medical education and training.

Chances are that most physicians living in developed countries today have never seen anyone with the disease either. Unfortunately, Alba, an 11 month old baby girl living in London, presented with all of these classic signs of the Measles, but they were missed by 3 different doctors. Shameful that more patients will very likely share her story because the once eradicated disease has gone, you know, viral. The disease was eradicated in the US in 2000 and Britain in 2016, but thanks to the pro-disease choice movement, unimmunized and immunocompromised children and adults will suffer a preventable illness.

But hey, at least we inexperienced doctors will get the chance to see it on a real patient, right?

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Nicole Johnson MD

Nicole M. Johnson MD is a practicing physician in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and is certified in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Johnson is the President and Co-founder of PHYSICIANS FOR PATIENTS®, a grassroots organization that champions physician-led care and fights against the unsupervised practice of medicine by non-physicians. She is passionate about lowering the cost of medical care for all Americans, solving the physician shortage, and ending mandatory Maintenance of Certification®. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Also visit 

  4 comments for “Alba’s Doctors Missed It: Will yours?

  1. Mamadoc
    May 22, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    That baby is too little for MMR, so she was infected by somebody else’s unvaccinated kid. Why is not vaccinating not considered child endangerment???

  2. Aaron M. Levine
    May 22, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    I remember in Medical School ( in the 60s) one of the residents having a febrile rash. since he was single, he could not be left alone at home. This was an indication to admit him to the hospital ( long before preauthoriations existed). He was under the care of the chief of Medicine, chief of ID and numerous other specialists. This was the era before most serology and antibody studies. He was there without a diagnosis other than a febrile rash of undetermined origin. A friend of his family, an old retired GP, dropped by for a visit. He looked at the resident and said “You have German Measles.”. This was too common a disease for an academic center to see. The Big shots had never seen it and could not diagnose it. The doc with the street smarts could.

  3. Natalie Newman
    May 22, 2019 at 1:16 am

    It’s a crime to allow children to suffer from a preventable disease. A single individual is never more important than the greater good. Never.

  4. Pat
    May 20, 2019 at 7:56 am

    That really makes the point. “The Pro-disease choice movement” – brilliant.

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