The measles outbreak has been limited to a county in the Twin Cities, until now. Stearns county can now be added to the list, and very likely much more to come.

According to the Star Tribune, this is the largest outbreak of the measles since 1990. Every case has been in Hennepin County until recently, with a child testing positive in Stearns County.

The MN Department of Health shows a total of 29 children have been diagnosed with the measles since the end of March, and all of them so far have been Somali-American children. There aren't any released details about the case in Stearns County, or the 3 other recent cases yet.

The CDC says that parents of children should opt for a 2-shot dose, which helps protect from measles at a rate of 97%. If only a single dose of the vaccine is taken, there's a 93% protection rate. Many Somali-American parents opt out of the vaccine because of a belief that it causes autism.

Measles vaccines are available on the following schedule for children, according to the MN Dept. of Health:

  • Children get MMR doses at 12-15 months and at 4-6 years of age; the second MMR may be given as soon as a month after the first dose.
  • An early dose of MMR is recommended for children 6-12 months of age who will be traveling internationally or where outbreaks are occurring.

Measles is spread easily through contact with an infected person. If you have concerns that you or your child has been exposed to this disease, it's urgent to contact your doctor immediately and get checked.