CDC Reports Ongoing Measles Outbreak in Minnesota — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 14, 2017

CDC Reports Ongoing Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

By Cara Adler

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

A measles outbreak in a Minnesota Somali-American community with low vaccination coverage spread rapidly and is ongoing, according to an MMWR article.

The Minnesota Department of Public Health identified 65 measles cases in April and May. Some 95% were in unvaccinated persons, 77% in children aged 12 months or older, and 85% in U.S.-born children of Somali parents. As of the end of May, 31% of patients had been hospitalized.

In Minnesota's Somali-American community, coverage with the first dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for children aged 2 years declined from more than 90% in 2008 to 36% in 2014. The drop was attributed, in part, to the misconception that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

The authors conclude, "This outbreak demonstrates the challenge of combating misinformation about MMR vaccine and the importance of creating long-term, trusted relationships with communities to disseminate scientific information in a culturally appropriate and effective manner."

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