$5 million sought for measles outbreak response

Brandon Parsons
May 13, 2017

As of Tuesday, 50 cases of measles have been diagnosed in the state since the first case was reported on April 11, 45 of which have been diagnosed in Somali Minnesotans.

The Department of Health says 47 of those infected are confirmed to have been unvaccinated and one person had only one of two recommended doses.

Doctors say measles can lead to a number of complications, such as pneumonia, swelling of the brain and even death.vHealth officials in Minnesota and neighboring states have warned residents to make sure immunizations are up to date for their children and themselves.

However, recent infectious disease outbreaks largely occurred among the vaccinated, not the unvaccinated.

Ehlinger has asked state lawmakers to create a public health emergency fund of $5 million in order to "ensure sufficient resources are available for immediate, lifesaving actions to protect Minnesotans from infectious disease outbreaks and other unanticipated public health threats".

That brings the total case count in Minnesota's outbreak to 54, an increase of 10 since last Friday.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that "if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected", according to the CDC.

The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is given to children in two doses, typically the first dose is given to children 12 months old, with a second dose when they are between four to six years old.

She said the state and Hennepin County, which covers Minneapolis, had checked on 8,000 possible exposures to measles. We have not had cases, but we share a border and our communities are intertwined, and the measles will find the individuals who are unprotected.

"Not only are there health costs for treating children". Ehresmann said with such low levels of vaccination, public health officials have been anxious about an outbreak for some time.

"We have gone zero days without having a new case", Stinchfield said.

"It's important for us all to have our vaccinations to prevent the spread of disease", Ehresmann said.

They said they don't want to appear anti-vaccine, just informed.

This measles outbreak was stretching the funds of the Minnesota Department of Health and it needed $5 million to combat infectious diseases.

The Health Department blames years of pushing by anti-vaccine activists who targeted the Somali immigrant community, telling them that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine might be unsafe and urging them to skip or delay vaccinating their kids.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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