Minnesota records first measles case this year

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota has recorded its first case of measles this year.

State health officials confirmed the measles in a 19-month-old Hennepin County child, according to the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/QPvsAC ).

The Minnesota Department of Health has alerted health care providers and is working to notify people who might have been exposed, according to Kris Ehresmann, the department’s infectious disease director. The health agencies are also offering immune globulin with antibodies against the measles virus to anyone who might have been exposed.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared measles eliminated from the United States in 2000, but it’s still prevalent around the world. The Philippines is undergoing a measles outbreak with more than 20,000 cases.

The CDC has reported 129 cases and 13 outbreaks in the U.S. for the first four months of 2014, the highest in that period for the past 18 years.

Measles produces a blotchy red rash, along with cold-like symptoms including fever, runny nose, cough and watery eyes. People infected with measles are contagious during the four days before they develop a rash and four days after.

Any cases to result from the Hennepin County child are likely to emerge between now and May 12, Ehresmann said. The baby caught measles when traveling internationally, so there weren’t many exposures in Minnesota, she said.

The CDC recommends that children receive a first dose of measles vaccine when they’re 12 to 15 months old and a second dose before starting kindergarten.

The Hennepin County child had received the first dose of the measles vaccine. But Ehresmann said the first dose doesn’t always prevent the disease.

Hennepin County had a measles outbreak in 2011, when a 1-year-old caught the disease while traveling and then infected 20 people. Seven of the patients were too young to get the vaccine and seven weren’t vaccinated because their parents were concerned about the safety of the vaccine.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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