The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Monday that there is a case of measles in the Twin Cities metro area. The department provided little information on the case, but said the risk to the public is “extremely low.” MDH is investigating and will inform anyone who may have been exposed.
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, only 87.2% of 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.
Riley Fletcher Moser is a digital line producer at wcco.com. At WCCO, she often covers breaking news and feature stories. In 2022, Riley received an honorable mention in sports writing from the Iowa College Media Association.