Facts, not Fantasy

Friday, September 09, 2011

Measles in Minnesota

The Health Department in Minnesota is busy it seems.  They recently reported:
Three cases of measles in Minnesota have been confirmed during the month of August. The first case was an unvaccinated 12-month-old who acquired infection in Kenya. The second case was an unvaccinated 15-month-old who was exposed to the first case. Both cases were unvaccinated. A third case was confirmed on August 25 in a 43-year-old adult female with unknown vaccination history who was exposed to the first case in a health care setting. The third case was identified through public health follow-up of exposed persons. All three cases are residents of Dakota County. These cases are not related to the recent outbreak in Hennepin County.
So of course, now I am wondering about what is going on in Hennepin County.
Outbreak included 20 cases of measles linked to an individual who acquired infection in Kenya. 
And just in case anyone thinks that Measles is a nuisance disease, here is a list of complications that come along with it (oh how soon we forget!):
Complications with measles are relatively common, ranging from relatively mild and less serious diarrhea, to pneumonia, Otitis media and acute encephalitis (and rarely subacute sclerosing panencephalitis); corneal ulceration leading to corneal scarring. Complications are usually more severe in adults who catch the virus. While the vast majority of patients survive measles, complications occur fairly frequently, and may include bronchitis, and panencephalitis which is potentially fatal.

Mortality in developed countries is ~1/1000. In sub-Saharan Africa, mortality is ~10%. In cases with complications, the rate may rise to 20–30%. On average, ~450 children die every day from measles.

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