NUMBER OF SUSPECTED MEASLES CASES RISES TO 20 ON GUAM

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By Dionesis Tamondong

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (May 1, 2002 - Pacific Daily News)---Three more suspected cases of measles were reported to local health officials yesterday, raising the total number to 20.

The number of confirmed measles cases remain at four, said Dennis Rodriguez, Department of Public Health and Social Services director.

The department will continue to hold free clinics this week in Mangilao to give the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to children ages 1 to 6. Nurses have given 128 MMR vaccinations since the clinics began Saturday, Rodriguez said.

About eight nurses will continue to roam targeted areas, he said.

Nurses have vaccinated 174 people during those door-to-door visits, he said.

"Nurses will continues these visits until we are able to see that we have taken care of this matter," Rodriguez said. "The clinics will continue for as long as necessary, at least for another two or three weeks."

Rodriguez has asked the Legislature for $120,000 to pay overtime for nurses and support staff involved in the public health emergency, which was declared Friday. The money also would pay for additional supplies, he added.

The department has classified the emergency as an outbreak, meaning at least two cases have been confirmed.

An epidemic is declared when eight cases have been confirmed, he said, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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