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Potential reasons behind the recent measles outbreak

It has recently been reported in a variety of sources that measles may be making a comeback in the United States, which could be a growing concern for many Arizona parents. While it can be argued that parents' failure to vaccinate their children against the disease has led to its resurgence, some believe doctors may also be contributing to the disease's return.

The symptoms for measles include rashes, pink eye and fever. While the symptoms are well-known, they are also associated with a number of other diseases, which could be problematic for doctors attempting to make a diagnosis. Additionally, people who have been infected with the disease are highly contagious for days before they begin to show signs, meaning that they could easily infect others. The disease was widely considered to be eradicated in the country due to the widespread vaccination program that began in the 1960s, although it remains a major cause of death for children internationally.

A significant problem appears to be that many health care professionals are not aware of the signs and symptoms. Many doctors have not seen a single case of measles within the last few decades, while younger doctors may have never seen a single case. With the number of cases rapidly growing, an infectious disease specialist located at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suggested that pediatricians and other doctors familiarize themselves with the symptoms.

When it comes to potentially deadly infectious diseases, doctor errors could potentially result in permanent disabilities or even death. If a child contracts measles as a result of a failure to properly diagnose the disease and becomes seriously ill as a result, the child's family may file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor who was negligent.

Source: ABC News, "How Doctors and Parents May Be Contributing to the Rise of Measles", Liz Neporent, Jan. 28, 2015

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