Measles break out in Tucson

Arizona health officials are concerned a measles outbreak in the Tucson area could spread across the state.

There have been nine reported cases of measles in the Tucson area, the Pima County Health Department said Monday in a news release. "Measles is extremely contagious, so the best way to prevent the disease is to get vaccinated," chief medical officer Dr. Michelle McDonald said in a statement.

The health department recommends an accelerated schedule for vaccinating children, with one dose between the ages of 6 and 12 months of age and two more doses starting on the child's first birthday.

Dr. Karen Lewis, a medical director with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said health officials are concerned that some parents aren't vaccinating their children because of concerns about links to autism.

"People have started to forget how bad of a disease it is and have started listening to people saying vaccines aren't good," Lewis told The Arizona Republic.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International


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