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Measles is expected topic for surgeon general visit

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The country’s top doctor will visit Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital Tuesday morning as part of a cross-country tour.

The White House originally scheduled Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s trip to discuss the Affordable Care Act and public health issues.

The topic of the growing measles outbreak was expected to be brought up during press availability as infections were reported in Indiana’s neighbor Illinois.

On Monday, health officials in Cook County, Illinois reported three more cases of the disease have been confirmed in a suburb of Chicago where an outbreak affecting eight people was linked to a day care.

The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control released Feb. 6 cited 121 confirmed cases of the highly-infectious disease in 17 states.

The agency connected most of the illness back to original exposures at Disneyland in California.

Health experts said most of the people infected had not been vaccinated. A doctor from Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital said he thinks when it comes to making the decision on vaccines, society is at a tipping point.

“If they’re not afraid of the disease, they become afraid of the vaccine, which is something we’ve seen recently,” Dr. Christopher Belcher said. “Now with this fear and concern over the disease coming back, I think we’re going to see a lot of people in the middle go back to vaccinating, and hopefully that will be enough to prevent larger outbreaks in this country.”

The surgeon general will tour Eskenazi and meet with media at 10 a.m.