FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

Twelfth case of measles reported in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Health officials have reported another case of measles in the state, bringing the current outbreak’s total to 12.

So far, there have been no deaths, but six of the patients have required hospitalization. The cases range in age from four months to 35-years-old, according to

The health department is urging all residents of Hennepin County and all Somalis living in the greater metropolitan area to receive vaccinations.

Health officials have linked the outbreak to a Somali child that recently visited Kenya, where measles is commonplace, reports.

Hennepin County officials are holding vaccination clinics, but they report low attendance.

"We were really trying to target the Somali community in particular and addressed our ads, and have not been effective in getting our message out," Allain Hankey, an epidemiologist with the Hennepin County public health department, said, according to

According to Hankey, vaccination rates in the county for two-year-olds are around 85 percent, when they should be well over 90 percent.

Ruth Lynfield, a pediatrician, told that some Somalis fear a link between vaccinations and autism, a connection that she says has been totally debunked.

Other Minnesotans, according to Lynfield, refuse to have their children vaccinated because they fear their exposure to foreign proteins.

"The reality is their children are exposed to lots of foreign substances every day," Lynfield said, according to "The reason we use vaccines is they are a safe way of exposing the child to something that is similar to the infectious agent, so that if the child does get exposed to the infectious agent they now have a stronger response to it."