Unvaccinated Children Bring Measles to Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced today it is investigating two measles cases in unvaccinated, pre-school children who are siblings.
The children developed measles symptoms shortly after returning to Hennepin County after visiting an unidentified country where measles is endemic.
One child was hospitalized due to measles complications.
The children were isolated when symptoms started, so exposures were limited to health care and family settings.
It generally takes eight to 12 days from exposure to someone with measles to develop the first symptom, usually fever.
The MDH, Hennepin County Public Health, and local staff are working to notify people who may have been exposed to the vaccine-preventable measles virus in Minnesota or while flying.
The MDH stated on June 14, 2022, that the measles risk to the general public is low. However, the measles virus spreads quickly by coughing, talking, or being in the same room with someone who has measles.
If additional measles cases develop due to these cases, they will likely occur before July 1, 2022, health officials said.
Some communities in Minnesota continue to have low vaccination rates for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).
According to recent data, the percentage of 2-year-olds who had received at least one dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months declined from 81.4% in 2019 to 79.3% in 2021.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield commented in a related press release, “Vaccines are extremely effective for preventing measles.”
“It’s important that we work on getting our immunization rates back up where they need to be so that all children in Minnesota are protected.”
Minnesota has had four cases of measles since a significant outbreak in 2017.
In a typical year, Minnesota sees one to four cases of measles, generally in people who traveled to countries where measles is more common.
The World Health Organization recently reported measles cases increased by 79% in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.
“We need to maintain our high vaccination rates in the United States to make sure measles does not make a comeback in Minnesota,” added Margaret Roddy, section manager for vaccine-preventable diseases at MDH.
“As long as there is measles somewhere in the world and people travel, the risk to Minnesota remains.”
“The measles vaccine is safe and effective. Without it, the risk of disease is real.”
The U.S. CDC says ‘measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but it is still common in other parts of the world.’
As of June 3, 2022, only three measles cases were reported by two jurisdictions this year. This improved from 2021, when five U.S. jurisdictions reported 49 measles cases.
The best way to prevent measles is through vaccination.
The CDC says children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine: the first at 12 to 15 months of age and the second at 4 to 6 years of age. Children 6 to 12 months should get an early dose of the MMR vaccine if they are traveling to a country where measles is common.
And on June 6, 2022, the U.S. FDA approved GSK’s Priorix MMR vaccine. This is the third approved MMR vaccine. These vaccines are generally available at local pharmacies and health clinics.
Breaking measles outbreak news is posted at this link.
Vax-Before-Travel publishes fact-checked, research-based travel vaccine news curated for mobile readership.