97.5% of Measles Diagnoses are Incorrect

From Europe Today, April 1998 comes an interesting report about the level of error occurring in the diagnosis of measles. The feedback comes from the UK's Public Health Laboratory Service, which found that 97.5% of the time, British doctors are wrong in their diagnosis of measles. This conclusion was reached after saliva tests were performed on 12,000 person diagnosed with measles. Roger Buttery, an advisor on transmissible diseases at the Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Department, said "a majority of doctors say they can recognize measles 'a mile off' but we now know that this illness occurs in only 2.5% of the cases." If the information offered by Buttery et al. is correct, then the true incidence of measles in the UK is not the reported 6,000 per year, but more like 150.