Measles outbreak prompts Minnesota officials to request $5mn

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

Most cases are in Somali children going unvaccinated in Hennepin County.

Minnesota's health commissioner is asking state legislators to provide $5 million for an emergency fund to deal with an outbreak of measles and other infectious diseases.

"In this recent outbreak, the vast majority of cases are unprotected individuals", said Stephanie Schauer, immunization program manager for the Wisconsin division of public health. We can not continue diverting funding and resources away from other vital public health services to respond to disease outbreaks and threats.

As the outbreak of measles continues to grow in Minnesota, health officials in Wisconsin are keeping a close eye on the situation.

The Children's Minnesota health system said one of its clinical workers contracted measles in the Minnesota outbreak despite being vaccinated.

TwinCities.com reports that Somali-Americans in Minnesota actually had higher vaccination rates than the general public, but the rates started plummeting after news reports in 2008 said Somali-American students had higher rates of autism. Outreach efforts have included providing vaccines to those who have been exposed to measles and countering misinformation about a debunked link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

In order to convince some parents that vaccines are safe, Ururshe has spent long periods of time explaining that studies have found no link between vaccines and autism. It's just the sheer fact of being unvaccinated.

The bulk of the cases are reported in Somali Americans who were unvaccinated (90 percent). "We have a vaccine that can prevent measles, and yet we're seeing this widespread transmission". "They say 'OK, I trust you, should I give my son or daughter [the vaccine]?"

Baker said she heard about the meeting days before it was scheduled to take place when "concerned community members" reached out to her with fears that the meeting could be harmful given the current outbreak.

The MDH recommends all children who have not received an MMR vaccine should get the first dose as soon as possible and all adults born in 1957 or later who have never received the MMR vaccine and have never had measles should get the vaccine as soon as possible.

  • Delores Daniels