Health Officials Confirm Measles in Child in Hennepin County

Examples of Measles Examples of Measles |  Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Updated: August 07, 2018 02:39 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota health officials say measles has been diagnosed in a 5-year-old child who lives in Hennepin County.
The state Health Department said Tuesday the child became ill in early August shortly after traveling internationally to a region where measles is common. The child likely was infectious from July 30 through Aug. 7.  

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The Minnesota Department of Health says health care officials are notifying people who may have been exposed to this illness.

Health officials say the child was not vaccinated against measles and was hospitalized.  Authorities have notified health care providers in the state to be alert for patients with signs or symptoms of measles. 

According to the MDH, measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but it is still common in other parts of the world. In a typical year, Minnesota sees one to four cases of measles, typically in people who traveled to countries where measles is more common.

Last year, Minnesota reported its largest measles outbreak since 1990, with 75 cases confirmed between April and August 2017. Of those cases, 21 were hospitalized and 91 percent were not vaccinated.

The department's infectious disease division director, Kris Ehresmann, says Minnesota still has pockets with low vaccination rates. She says Minnesota remains at risk as long as there is measles somewhere in the world.

Stopping the 2017 measles outbreak did not eliminate our risk for another outbreak,” said Ehresmann said in a release. That's why it is so important to make sure you and your family are vaccinated.”

Measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes followed by a rash that typically spreads from the head to the rest of the body. It generally takes 8 to 12 days from exposure to the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash usually appears two to three days after the fever begins. Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily by coughing, sneezing or even being in the same room with someone who has measles.

Health officials advise If you see symptoms of measles, call your doctor or clinic right away and they will let you know if you need to come in for a visit. If additional cases were to develop as a result of this case, they would likely occur between now and Aug. 28 health officials said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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