Reporting Susie Jones
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota officials are declaring the state’s measles outbreak over.
It’s been six weeks since the state’s last measles case. The totals from the state’s worst outbreak in years stand at 23 cases including 14 children who had to be hospitalized. But there were no deaths.
Patsy Stinchfield, the director of infectious disease at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, said they are relieved but there is still work to be done.
“We really can’t let down our guard on immunizing children, on getting that second dose in, for all of us to make sure we have had our Measles Mumps Rubella shots, otherwise measles will come back, and will spread,” she said.
Several cases involved unvaccinated children in the Somali community, where many families fear there’s a link between the vaccine and autism.
The outbreak started when a 2-year-old of Somali descent became ill in February, about two weeks after returning from a trip to Kenya.
Stinchfield said they did a lot of work in the Somali Community.
“We did a lot of work in the Somali community in trying to listen to concerns about vaccines. But this wasn’t just isolated to the Somali community. We had all cultures represented in those who had the measles,” she said.
Stinchfield said in 1990 there were 440 cases and three deaths. At that time, there was a 60 percent vaccination rate.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports