• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

A Measles Outbreak in the Twin Cities: How Low Vaccination Rates are Putting Communities at Risk and What You Can Do to Protect Your Child’s Health

ByEditor

Feb 13, 2024
Measles case confirmed by health officials in Twin Cities metro area

A case of measles has been confirmed in the Twin Cities metro area by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). While little information was provided on the case, the risk to the public is said to be “extremely low.” MDH is currently investigating and will inform anyone who may have been exposed. Measles was eradicated in the United States more than 20 years ago, but declining vaccination rates are increasing the risk of its spread. Communities need high vaccination rates to maintain herd immunity and prevent outbreaks, according to experts. In the 2023-24 school year, only 87.2% of kindergarten students were fully vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, compared to 92.6% in 2019. Officials believe this decline is due to people not having routine well-child visits during the pandemic. Parents and guardians can access their children’s immunization records online and make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations.

Riley Moser is a digital line producer at wcco.com who often covers breaking news and feature stories. In 2022, Riley received an honorable mention in sports writing from the Iowa College Media Association.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced that a case of measles has been confirmed in the Twin Cities metro area. The department emphasized that while little information was provided about the individual case, the risk to public health is extremely low.

MDH officials are currently conducting an investigation into any potential exposure or transmission of measles within local communities.

Measles was officially eradicated from North America over two decades ago through widespread vaccination efforts.

However, recent years have seen a decline in vaccination rates across many communities worldwide.

This drop in immunity can lead to outbreaks such as those we’ve seen around the globe, putting individuals at risk for severe illness or even death.

To combat these outbreaks and maintain herd immunity levels necessary for communal health,
experts recommend high vaccination rates among populations.

In fact, during last year’s school season alone, only 87.2% of kindergarten students were fully vaccinated with their MMR shot compared to 92.6% just two years prior.

The decrease could be attributed to several factors including disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on healthcare services like wellness checkups for young children.

That being said; parents and guardians can stay informed about their child’s health status by accessing their immunization records online or contacting healthcare providers directly if they have any concerns regarding upkeep on their child’s vaccine schedule.

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