Health Officials Cite Five New Measles Cases In Hennepin County

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed a second case measles in Michigan. Last year, MI had one case of this disease. Both the recent case and one last month involved adults who are not related, but both were on the same global flight, health officials said. "The two individuals, who are not members of the same family or otherwise related, were both passengers on the same flight when the first individual was contagious". The symptoms are high fever, with cough and watery eyes. The rash typically starts on the face and spreads down the body and out to the arms and legs.

A person who has measles can be contagious for a few days before they start having symptoms. That person is still contagious until several days after the rash appears. Measles virus spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing.

The Health Department said measles vaccination rates have declined in some communities because of fears related to misinformation about vaccine risks.

The department says that in 1963, before the vaccine, the United States at 4 million cases a year, which killed 450-500 people. Nearly all measles cases in this country have occurred among the unvaccinated. Untreated, it can lead to severe illness that requires hospitalization and even death.

The Americas region was thought to be free of endemic measles, yet five new measles cases have been reported in Minnesota.

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Measles was reportedly eradicated in the USA in 2000, and World Health Organization declared it officially measles free on September 27, 2016.

They add that one out of 1,000 children with measles develops encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and that for every 1,000 children with measles, one or two will die from the disease.

Measles was the fifth vaccine-preventable disease eradicated in the Americas, joining smallpox, polio, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.

"We're working with the Somali community in the Twin Cities to alert people to the outbreak", Ehresmann said. From 2001 - 2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. In 2016, 70 people from 16 states contracted it.

"Personally, I believe people should get vaccinated, especially now when there is so much travel between different countries and continents", Pichineru said.

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