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E China Province Reports over 10,000 Measles Cases

Measles epidemic killed three children in east China's Zhejiang Province with 10,262 measles cases reported since nearly a year ago, according to the provincial health authorities on Thursday.

The overall incidence rate and children incidence rate were both about 16 percent lower from the 2005 figure when Zhejiang saw its biggest-ever measles outbreak.

Cong Liming, head of the provincial center for disease control and prevention, said since last July, Zhejiang has seen an "explosive" increase in measles infections.

"So far, the spread of the disease is under control with the number of infectious areas dropping," said Cong.

The provincial government issued an "orange-level" warning on April 1 and has distributed measles vaccines to the affected areas to ensure infected children are properly treated.

Child immunization and supplemental immunization are mandatory that require every child receive a dose of measles vaccine before going to a primary school and kindergarten, Cong said.

The measles virus can cause skin red rashes, coughing and fever, but patients generally recover after a few days' bed rest. In rare cases, measles lead to complications such as pneumonia or even brain damage that could result in death.

(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2008)

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