Minnesota measles outbreak raises concerns

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The majority of those infected are children between ages 0-17 years. Only two individuals had taken both the recommended doses.

"The most worrisome thing is, it's a completely unnecessary outbreak", said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease control for MDH, according to CNN.

Most Somali-American children living in Minnesota are affected by measles virus.

"This is a hugely expensive outbreak", Ehresmann told NBC News.

As Breitbart News reported previously, 90 percent of the 168 cases of active tuberculosis diagnosed in Minnesota in 2016 were foreign-born, much higher than the 67 percent of foreign-born cases that accounted for the 9,287 cases of active TB diagnosed in the United States in 2016.

The state health department is encouraging numerous families in the targeted community to get vaccinations for their children.

"The orientation we do specifically for the refugees, it really addresses how to navigate the healthcare system in our country and just some common practices for healthcare in our country", Beth Hindbjorgen, a Registered Nurse case manager with Falls Public Health said.

Those recommendations include staying home from work, childcare and large gatherings for 21 days as they are monitored for symptoms.

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"We have had staff working every single weekend since April 11", she said. Much of the disinformation about vaccines in the Somali community comes from British researcher Andrew Wakefield, who first proposed a link between vaccines and autism in a paper which has been widely discredited.

"I think we'll continue to see cases for a while", Ehresmann said in a phone call Wednesday.

"We know that we'll get one or two cases of measles in a state because it is occurring in other parts of the world", she said.

The Minnesota Health Department shared that almost 47 people infected with measles were unvaccinated.

"Significant threats to public health are becoming more frequent and costly", Ehlinger said.

Ehlinger revealed that the department's funds were also stretched as it had to screen travelers and pregnant women for Zika virus.

"Minnesotans rightly expect a rapid and effective response to these threats, but current state funds lack the flexibility needed to deal with emergent disease threats", Ehlinger said. Moreover, the resources of the local and state health departments are stretched. "They say 'OK, I trust you, should I give my son or daughter [the vaccine]?"

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