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Third measles case of 2024 reported in Minnesota

Why a third of US population could be at risk for measles
Why a third of US population could be at risk for measles 05:41

MINNEAPOLIS — After two siblings in Minnesota came down with confirmed cases of measles last month, state health officials reported a third case on Thursday.

One of the three cases was a result of exposure outside the United States, the Minnesota Department of Health said. The other two are linked to that initial case.

The infected siblings live in the Twin Cities, MDH said, but gave little other information about any of the cases. When the first two cases were discovered, health officials said the risk to the public was "extremely low."

There were no reported measles cases in Minnesota in 2022, but the year before, the state saw 22 cases. From 2000-2023, the state averaged about six cases a year, though those numbers are skewed by an outbreak in 2017 that resulted in 75 confirmed cases.

Measles was officially declared eradicated in the United States more than 20 years ago, but declining vaccination rates are increasing the risk of the spread of the disease. Communities need high vaccination rates to maintain herd immunity and prevent outbreaks, experts say.  

According to the health department, in the 2023-24 school year, 87.2% of Minnesota kindergarten students were fully vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Comparatively, in 2019, 92.6% of kindergarteners were fully vaccinated with MMR. Officials believe the decline is likely due to people not having routine well-child visits during the pandemic.

Parents and guardians can go online to find out how to access their children's immunization records and make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations.

Note: The video above originally aired Jan. 30, 2024

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