Measles Outbreak in Minnesota Grows to 41 Cases

Measles Outbreak Minn. Amy ForlitiAP
Amy Forliti/AP

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported on Thursday that the number of measles cases diagnosed in the state has jumped to 41, an increase of seven reported cases over the last 24 hours.

Thirty-eight cases have been reported in Hennepin County, two in Ramsey County and one in Crow Wing County

MDH says that “34 of the cases are Somali Minnesotan.”

Thirty-nine of the 41 cases are “confirmed to be unvaccinated,” while “2 had 2 doses of MMR.”

The outbreak has now spread to an adult for the first time.

MDH reports “1 case in an adult,” and “40 in children ages 0 through 10 years.”

There were no reported cases of measles in Minnesota this year prior to March 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“From January 1 to March 25, 2017, 28 people from 10 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington) were reported to have measles,” the CDC reported.

The first public report of measles in Minnesota in 2017 came on April 13.

“Minnesota health officials are investigating three cases of measles in Hennepin County in an effort to identify the source of the infections and determine if others have been exposed,” the Star Tribune reported on April 13. MDH subsequently determined that all three of these cases were Somali Minnesotans.

MDH officials have stated that the Somali community has been susceptible to measles because it has resisted vaccinations.

Mike Osterholm, “Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, or CIDRAP at the University of Minnesota and coauthor of the new book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs” told Outbreak News This Week Radio Show on April 30 that is one of the reasons “this outbreak is expected to grow:”

Yes, we are in the middle of a horrible measles outbreak right now in Minnesota, it is primarily in the Somali population, which when you think about it in 2008, the Somali population’s level of measles immunization exceeded that of the rest of the state of Minnesota.

And then several cases of autism occurred in Somali children and Dr. Wakefield, Andrew Wakefield, who was the person who perpetrated the fraudulent study on the world saying that measles vaccine caused autism, you know that study has since been basically rebuked by any number of authorities and literally removed from the medical journal, he lost his medical license–and he’s actually made several trips here to Minnesota to tell the Somalis that this is where it came from  the measles vaccine.

As a result, from 2008 and to today, the rate of immunization has dropped dramatically because of their concern about children getting autism.

“Well that just laid us wide open for the first introduction of measles virus into this area. And we’re talking about many thousands of kids who are potentially at risk for not having been vaccinated and culturally it’s hard to get them vaccinated, so we are expecting this measles outbreak to grow substantially,” Osterholm concluded.

The current outbreak of measles in Minnesota is the largest in more than 20 years.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.