Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

Experts Say Vaccination is the Only Real Way to Prevent Measles

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota is seeing the state’s biggest measles outbreak since 1990. As of Thursday, 44 cases of the measles had been confirmed statewide.

There have been no confirmed cases of the measles in the Northland as of Thursday, but experts are warning parents: If you haven’t already, Get your Kids Vaccinated.

Measles Symptoms start as fevers, coughs, sore throat and watery and red eyes. It then develops into a red rash that generally starts at the head and neck and continues down to the rest of the body. The only way to effectively avoid measles is through vaccination.

“There is no scientific data that the measles vaccine causes other problems. Particularly autism is one of those concerns, and there’s no data to support that. But we do know that measles kills people,” said  Dr. Sara Lund, an Infectious Disease Physician at St. Luke’s Hospital.

The measles outbreak is mostly affecting Somali-American communities near the twin cities, whose kids are less likely to be vaccinated. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 42 percent of Somali-American toddlers born in Minnesota had been vaccinated as of 2017, compared to 88 percent of other toddlers.

The measles vaccine is a two dose vaccine series.  The first dose is recommended at 12 months of age, and the second is recommended between the ages of 4 and 6. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine is 97% effective, if both doses are taken.

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