Minnesota officials: Measles outbreak over; 79 sickened

Published 12:26 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

ST. PAUL — Minnesota health officials said a measles outbreak that sickened 79 people is over.

The outbreak that began April 11 was the largest measles outbreak in Minnesota since 1990. It affected mostly unvaccinated children in Minnesota’s Somali-American community, where many parents avoided the vaccine because of unfounded fears that it causes autism.

Twenty-two of those who contracted measles had to be hospitalized. More than 8,000 people were exposed to the measles and more than 500 were asked to stay home from school, child care or work because they were potentially infectious.

Email newsletter signup

The Minnesota Department of Health is declaring the outbreak over because there have been no new cases for 42 days.

State Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said the Health Department will continue working with the Somali community to improve vaccination rates.