Health officials have confirmed two measles cases in Hennepin County siblings

June 14, 2022

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The reduction in vaccination rates during the pandemic raises concerns that more children are at risk

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is working with Hennepin County Public Health and health care providers to investigate two confirmed cases of measles in children who are siblings and live in Hennepin County.

Both children developed symptoms shortly after returning from a visit to a common measles country. Both tested positive for measles. Preschool children were not vaccinated and one was hospitalized for complications from measles. MDH, Hennepin County Public Health staff, hospital and clinic staff are working to inform people who may be affected. Of these cases, the risk to the general public is low. When the symptoms started, the children became isolated, so exposure was limited to health care and family settings.

The MDH has informed state health care providers to be vigilant for patients with signs or symptoms of measles. If more cases of measles arise as a result of these cases, they are likely to occur between now and July 1, health officials said.

The initial symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by a rash that usually spreads from the head to the whole body. It usually takes eight to 12 days for someone with measles to develop the first symptom from exposure, which is usually a fever. The rash usually appears two or three days after the onset of fever. Measles can be a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. If you experience symptoms of measles, call your doctor or clinic and they will tell you if you need to come for a visit.

Any case of measles is a concern for health care providers. Measles is easily spread by coughing, talking, or being in the same room with someone with measles. However, some communities in Minnesota continue to have low rates of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. In addition, MMR vaccination rates, along with other childhood illnesses, fell during the pandemic. Health officials are concerned that some children may be more vulnerable than two years ago to vaccine-preventable diseases, especially as many people are starting to travel again.

According to the latest data, the percentage of 2-year-olds who received a dose of MMR vaccine for at least 24 months fell from 81.4% in 2019 to 79.3% in 2021. More details on this information can be found in the Minnesota Public. Health Data Entry Portal: Immunizations.

“This case underscores the importance of getting vaccinated for vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield. “Vaccines are very effective in preventing measles. It’s important to work to get our immunization rates back to where they need to be so that all the children in Minnesota can be protected. “

Minnesota has had four cases since a major outbreak in 2017. Measles was eradicated in the United States in 2000, but is still common in other parts of the world. In a typical year, Minnesota sees one or four cases of measles, in general, in people who have traveled to countries where measles is more common.

“We need to keep our vaccination rates high in the United States so that measles does not return to Minnesota,” said Margaret Roddy, MDH, head of the vaccine section on preventable diseases. “As long as there is measles somewhere in the world and people travel, there are still risks to Minnesota. The measles vaccine is safe and effective. Without it, the risk of getting sick is real. ”

The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated. Children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine: the first at 12 and 15 months of age, and the second at 4 and 6 years of age. Children aged 6 to 12 months should receive an early dose of the MMR vaccine if they travel to a country where measles is common. For all ages, it is important to talk to your doctor if you plan to travel to another country. Your doctor can check that you and your family are up to date with your immunizations and make sure that there are no other immunizations you need.

The MDH encourages people to check their records to confirm that they and their children have received the MMR vaccine. Minnesota residents can apply for their immunization records by visiting Find My Immunization Record.

For more information, visit the MDH measles website.


Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications

[email protected]

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