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2 cases of measles confirmed in Minnesota

Health officials have alerted health care providers to be aware of measles symptoms in patients and said if any additional cases develop they will likely occur between now and July 1.

Measles virus
Rendering of the measles virus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image
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MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials are investigating cases of measles in two preschool-aged children who developed symptoms soon after returning from a country where the disease is common.

The siblings from Hennepin county were not vaccinated against measles and one has been hospitalized, the Minnesota Department of Health said Tuesday, June 14. Risk to the general public is low as the children were isolated when they developed symptoms and have only been exposed to family and health care settings, officials said.

The health department has alerted health care providers to be aware of measles symptoms in patients and said if any additional cases develop they will likely occur between now and July 1.

Symptoms of measles include high fever, runny nose, cough and watery eyes that are typically followed by a rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body, according to the Department of Health. It takes about eight to 12 days before the first symptoms such as fever appear and a rash appears two to three days later.

Measles is caused by a virus that typically spreads through coughing, talking or being in the same room as someone with an infection. The best way to prevent the disease from spreading is through vaccination, especially if traveling to a country where the disease is common.

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Minnesota has had four cases of Measles since a major outbreak in 2017 and typically sees one to four cases each year — usually in people who went to countries where the disease is common. The U.S. declared measles eliminated in the country in 2000.

Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service.
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