Minnesota measles outbreak increases to 11 — more than 200 asked to voluntarily quarantine

The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday increased the number of measles cases associated with a recent outbreak to 11, marking a three-case increase from the health department's April 14 update.

All 11 cases occurred in unvaccinated children 5 years and younger. Additionally, officials confirmed nine of the cases occurred in Somali Minnesotans. This population carries low immunization rates due to the spread of misinformation regarding vaccine safety. MDH is reportedly working with Somali community leaders to address the misinformation preventing higher vaccine adherence. The outbreak marks the worst in the state since 2011, when 26 infections were reported.

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Health officials asked more than 200 people who might have been exposed to the highly contagious virus to voluntarily quarantine themselves, according to a Star Tribune report.

"People are asking about the measles vaccine, both from the Minnesota Somali community [and] from other families ... that are concerned about the outbreak," said Kristina Whitesell, MD, a pediatrician at Fairview University Children's Clinic in Minneapolis, according to the report. "People forget that measles is a deadly disease. We were lucky in 2011 that there were no reported deaths."

To learn more about the measles, click here.

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The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday increased the number of measles cases associated with a recent outbreak to 11, marking a three-case increase from the health department's April 14 update.



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