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HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Sept. 25) - Anyone that hasn’t
received measles vaccination is urged to get to the nearest clinic and receive
their immunization shots since the number of measles cases appears to be
increasing as five new suspected cases are currently under investigation by the
Department of Public Health and Social Services’ Communicable Disease Control

The department is looking into the five new reported suspected
measles cases, believed to have been spread by one of the already five confirmed

Last month, the Department of Public Health and Social Services
announced that a total of five measles cases were confirmed.

Three cases out of the five were imported via the Marshall
Islands. The other two were spread locally.

Immunization program supervisor Ron Balajadia said that tests
from the new five suspected cases have been sent off-island for confirmation.

He said it has not been determined if the infected children,
ranging in age from 12 months to four years, came in contact at a clinic or at a

"I wouldn’t say that Guam is not experiencing an outbreak
or an epidemic at this point," Balajadia said. "That decision would be
based on the health situation of the island and its ability to handle measles
— it would also be determined by data we are receiving, but so far I would not
call it an epidemic."

Balajadia said the disease can be prevented if parents and
guardians have their children immunized.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services has set up
immunization clinics around the island to receive free immunization shots. Hours
of operation are from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Residents can go on Thursday at Agafa Gumas (across Machanaonao
Elementary School), and on Friday, residents can go to the Mongmong-Toto-Maite
Mayor’s Office.

September 25, 2003

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