Health Infection in the iron age – the measles existed...

Infection in the iron age – the measles existed in ancient times


The measles virus is about 2500 years old, as the analysis of a lung in the medical historical Museum, as well as the comparison with modern virus strains of animal and human show. Originally, it comes from the cow.

Full shelves: hundreds of compounds stored in various rooms in the basement of the Berlin Museum.

Foto: Navena Widulin (Charité)

The two-year-old girl had red spots on the breast, changes in the lung as well as inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Four days after admission to the hospital and died of the consequences of measles infection. That was over a hundred years ago, at the beginning of June 1912. Not only the former, hand-written autopsy report was kept in the collection of the Berlin medical historical Museum of the Charité, but also the damaged lung.

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