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Measles Outbreak in Minnesota is Worst in Almost 30 Years

Measles Outbreak in Minnesota is Worst in Almost 30 Years

In this Tuesday, May 2, 2017, photo, 15-month-old August Goepferd received the measles, mumps and rubella booster shot at a clinic at Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Amy Forliti)

By    |   Thursday, 11 May 2017 05:41 AM

The worst measles outbreak in almost 30 years has hit Minnesota.

There are nearly 50 cases of the measles in Minnesota and most of them are said to involve unvaccinated Somali-American children living in the state, CBS News reported.

Doctors at Children’s Minnesota Hospital are currently treating about 34 of the cases.

According to CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas, those without a vaccine to prevent measles have a 90 percent chance of catching the virus.

Patsy Stinchfield, the director for infection control at Children’s Minnesota, said the outbreak started about a month ago.

"We have gone zero days without having a new case," Stinchfield said, according to CBS News. "I just finished doing rounds on these children and they are miserable. They’re in the hospital, they have IV’s, they’re not drinking, they have terrible coughs, some have pneumonia."

Two siblings – 3-year-old Mahat Issa and 2-year-old Maida – were admitted to Minnesota Children's hospital after falling victim to the measles epidemic, according to NBC News.

Even though they’re in a better condition now, Mahat and Maida had been hospitalized due to fever and dehydration, which are two things that could be detrimental to a child, if that child is too sick to eat or drink.

"They were not eating. They were not drinking. They had…fever," Hodan Issa, the mother of the children, told NBC News.

Mahat and Maida were lucky because it’s not always a happy ending for families when babies suffer from measles.

"One in a thousand children who get measles will have encephalitis or infection in the brain. They can have permanent brain damage," Stinchfield said, according to CBS News. "They can have blindness or deafness, and so we wouldn’t vaccinate if this was just a rash or illness – this is a very serious disease."

This comes after a measles outbreak led to 100,000 cases in the U.S. in 1990, NBC News noted.

"Here in Minnesota we had 460 cases," Stinchfield said, according to the network.

"That was my first year working here and we had three children die in Minnesota from measles and two of them died right here at our hospital," Stinchfield added.

Before 2008, more than 90 percent of people in the Somali immigrant community were vaccinated against the disease, but as of today, there are only 41 percent with vaccinations, NBC News reported, citing Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director at the Minnesota Department of Health.

"Starting in 2008, when there was an observation that there was disproportionate number of Somali kids that were participating in Minnesota public schools special education services and right at that point the anti-vaccine folks started targeting the community," Ehresmann said.

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The worst measles outbreak in almost 30 years has hit Minnesota.
measles, outbreak, minnesota
Thursday, 11 May 2017 05:41 AM
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