Minnesota measles outbreak winding down: 5 things to know

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With no new cases in two weeks, Minnesota's largest measles outbreak since 1990 is slowing down, according to StarTribune.

Here are five things to know.

1. Seventy-eight Minnesotans have contracted the measles since April.

2. While the outbreak reached four counties, the vast majority of cases occurred in Hennepin County, where 69 individuals have contracted the virus.

3. Among all cases in the state, 65 occurred among Somali Minnesotans. Immunization rates among this population declined in recent years due to the spread of misinformation regarding immunization fueled by debunked pseudo-science linking vaccines to autism.

4. The Minnesota Department of Health has seen a significant decrease in the number of samples sent in for measles testing in recent weeks. State epidemiologists are also not aware of any symptomatic individuals that need to be monitored. Health officials have not officially declared the outbreak over, according to StarTribune.

5. After the onset of the outbreak, investigators with the health department identified 8,880 people who may have been exposed to the virus. Among them, 596 people were labeled at-risk for infection and asked to limit their activity to avoid exposing others.

"It has actually been quiet. We are really seeing a drop off in measles activity," said Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota's director of infectious disease control. "We really worked hard to reduce the opportunity for transmission, and that has had an impact."

 

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