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Newspaper Seeks Locations of Chicken Pox Outbreaks

PORTLAND, Maine - A newspaper is suing the Maine Department of Health and Human Services over its refusal to identify schools where chicken pox outbreaks occurred.

The Portland Press Herald was rejected when it asked the Maine Center for Disease Control to identify the schools while reporting on the highest number of outbreaks since the chicken pox vaccine became mandatory for school attendance in 2003.

CDC officials said the reason to deny the newspaper's request is that it might identify children who had the disease.

Cliff Schechtman, the newspaper's executive editor, said the public has a right to know where the outbreaks occurred. He says failure to identify the location of disease outbreaks puts people's health at risk.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday.