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Measles outbreak concerns doctors eying Chubu area

Date Posted: 2007-11-09

Nineteen cases of measles have been reported in the Chubu area encompassing Okinawa City and Uruma City, leading doctors to raise an eyebrow.

Five of those contracting measles picked up the illness while in hospitals. Two hospital cases were reported in Uruma City, while three contracted measles in Okinawa City hospitals. Officials say an Okinawa City high school boy is the youngest to be infected, while a 36-year-old Uruma City man was the oldest.

Prefecture health authorities have raised the infections alert level to ‘Level 2’, the middle level on its concerns scale. The Chubu Health Center, concerned about the outbreak, has established “The Measles Zero Project Committee Group to study why the cases are popping up. Officials say at least four of the cases have been traced to contact within families.

The Prefecture Health Promotion Section is now fearful the outbreak could spread, and is warning citizens that “a person who needs to see a doctor for a fever or some kind of cold sickness should call the hospital, doctor or clinic before going there” to prevent the germs from spreading. Officials say measles have a very strong infection power, and warn the contagious germs could spread across more of Okinawa if not carefully contained.

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