Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

MDH: Measles Spreads To Another County; Reaches 58 Total Cases

MDH: Measles Spreads To Another County; Reaches 58 Total Cases

They know now of 58 cases - 55 are children - in the biggest outbreak of measles in Minnesota since 1990, when measles sickened 460 people. The vast majority of cases still are with unvaccinated children in the Somalian community, as well as two adults and two other vaccinated children.

Essentia Health last week sent the letters, one Valley News Live obtained saying "our records show your child is not up-to-date" with their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Officials also surmised that this infection spread during an extended family gathering of some kind within the state. In the past four weeks, almost 1,600 Somali children have been vaccinated.

Fifty-five of the cases have come in children ages 0-17. However, state health officials are urging schools to encourage parents to get the necessary vaccinations for their children. Officials have called on people with measles to voluntarily avoid contact with other people for 21 days.

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These are the first confirmed measles cases in south central Minnesota in 2017.

The Crow Wing County cases raised a warning flag for Minnesota health authorities anxious the circle of people exposed to the disease is widening. This drastically reduces the chances of getting infected.

While most Minnesotans are immune - either from having been vaccinated or having had the disease - fear related to misinformation about vaccine risks has led to a decline in vaccination rates, according to health officials. State health officials are now working closely with community leaders to ensure that people are made aware of the vaccination's benefits.

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