In Somalia, a wives' tale that spreads measles

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MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia is suffering from an outbreak of measles that the World Health Organization and the U.N. children's agency are calling "extremely alarming."

UNICEF reported 1,350 suspected cases of measles in March and April, a figure four times higher than the same period last year. Another 1,000 cases were reported in May.

Many children in Somalia are malnourished and few have access to medical care, making an outbreak potentially dangerous for thousands of others. One additional danger is the belief by many parents that they should keep measles-infected children at homes for a week, preventing early medical intervention.

Measles remains common in some parts of Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Even the U.S., where the disease has technically been eliminated, has seen a record number of measles cases this year.

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