Health Watch: Worst Measles Outbreak Hits Minnesota

Tabitha Dunn
May 13, 2017

Patsy Stinchfield, Children's Minnesota's senior director of infection control, said the worker who contracted measles had an "extremely mild" case.

Ehresmann emphasized that the outbreak "has nothing to do with being Somali".

A measles outbreak in the Twin Cities area is causing treatment and financial concerns across the state.

While WND mocked "Muslim Measles", the right-wing outlet has actively promoted anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. But at the last minute it was relocated to the Safari Restaurant and Event Center, a Somali establishment in Minneapolis.

"I started getting more and more emails", Baker said.

She says once someone has measles there's really only supportive care for them.

The CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.

The measles virus commonly travels through the air where it can live for up to two hours, making it more contagious than the flu.

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Mark Blaxhill was the main speaker at the April 30 meeting, according to a local CBS affiliate.

Blaxhill told CBS Minnesota that he's not anti-vaccine, but that he is critical of vaccination policies.

With the headline, "Midwest Muslim Measles Outbreak Nearly Doubles", WND connected parents' refusal to vaccinate their children to Islam, rather than the efforts of the anti-vaccine campaigners who recently pounced on the community and exploited fears about autism. At least 11 children have been hospitalized for pneumonia, dehydration and fever.

Wakefield was stripped of his medical license in the United Kingdom after it was discovered that he had falsified data - but the damage done by his paper is widespread and ongoing.

Ehlinger is requesting the legislature create a public health response contingency fund of $5 million to "to ensure sufficient resources are available for immediate, life-saving actions to protect Minnesotans from infectious disease outbreaks and other unanticipated public health threats".

"It's important for us all to have our vaccinations to prevent the spread of disease", Ehresmann said.

Valley News asked the MN Health Department if this money is being asked for now because of an increase in Somali-Americans.

Authorities in Minnesota are seeking $5 million to respond to the largest outbreak of measles in three decades, most of which involve unvaccinated Somali-American children. In the past few weeks, according to Ehresmann, that number has shot up to 500 doses a week. "I personally feel that no one should be forced to have a vaccine".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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