Measles Outbreak Reaches 58 Cases
The Minnesota Department of Health announced four new cases of measles in Minnesota, bringing the number of measles cases in the latest outbreak to 58.
Included in the latest additions are two in Le Sueur County, the fourth different county to be affected by the outbreak. In addition to Le Sueur, there are also three cases in Ramsey County, four in Crow Wing County, and the rest are in Hennepin County.
Among the 58, 49 of the cases are located in the Somali-American community in Hennepin County, where much of the community is not vaccinated against the virus.
Of the 58 cases, 55 are children between the ages of 0 to 17 years old. Three adults are currently battling the virus as well.
Due to the virus, the immunization schedule has been accelerated for children to receive the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
The first does of the vaccine is typically given within the first year of life. With the current state of the outbreak, parents are being advised to have their children get the second dose of the vaccine no less than 28 days after the first dose and the child must be at least one year of age.
Measles’ early symptoms mimick those of the flu: high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Those symptoms are followed by a full body rash. The virus is an airborne illness, meaning it is spread through the air. It is possible to contract the virus just by being in the same room as someone with the illness.