Minnesota measles outbreak spreads to 4th county; 60 now infected

After starting in the Twin Cities in April, the measles outbreak in Minnesota has now spread to 60 people in four counties as of Tuesday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Previously, the outbreak was contained to Hennepin and Ramsey counties, which contain Minneapolis and St. Paul. It spread to Crow Wing County in central Minnesota before the end of April, and two cases cropped up in LeSueur County in the south-central part of the state earlier this week.

State health officials say the two cases in LeSueur County are linked to the Crow Wing County cases, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.

Originally, the outbreak had been contained to Somali Minnesotans, but it has since spread beyond that community, as 50 of the 60 confirmed cases are in Somali Minnesotans.

"This isn't staying in one community and it's not staying in one place," Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota's director of infectious disease control, told MPR News. "It's spreading across the state."

Most of the cases (57 of 60) occurred in children under 18, and 57 of the 60 people had not been vaccinated against the highly-contagious viral infection. Two people had been fully vaccinated (two doses) and the remaining case had received one dose of the vaccine.

According to the CDC, two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97 percent effective in preventing measles, and one dose is 93 percent effective.

More articles on outbreaks:
Minnesota Health Commissioner asks state for $5M in emergency funds amid measles outbreak
3 dead in San Diego County hepatitis A outbreak
Washington mumps outbreak now tops 820 cases

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