TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Number of measles cases in Minnesota outbreak rises

According to the Minnesota state health department, three additional cases of measles have been reported this week, raising the number of confirmed cases to 20.

Over the course of the last 10 decade, Minnesota only had 10 reported measles cases, TwinCities.com reports.

Two of the newly reported cases come as part of an outbreak that began in February. That outbreak began when a two-year-old from Minneapolis was infected on a trip to Kenya. The number of cases stemming from that outbreak currently stands at 17, the Minnesota Department of Health reports.

The infected two-year-old is of Somali descent. The child was not vaccinated against the disease because of parental concerns about vaccine safety. That is a fear that is shared by many in the Somali community. As a result, seven of this year's reported measles cases have come from patients of Somali descent.

All 17 of the infected patients live in Hennepin County, Buddy Ferguson, a health department spokesman, told TwinCities.com.

During the current outbreak, 10 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

An additional isolated case of the measles with an unknown infection source has also been reported, TwinCities.com reports. That isolated case joins two other isolated cases also reported this year.