How Local Health Officials are Working to Prevent Measles Outbreak

Measles is spreading across Minnesota and local health officials are taking precautions in Moorhead

MOORHEAD, Minn.– From January 1 to April 22, 61 people from 10 states were reported to have measles.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there are a total of 58 measles cases in Hennepin, Ramsey, Crow Wing and Le Seur County.

At least 55 cases are in children and three are in adults.

However, health officials in Clay County are working on making sure there are no outbreaks happening in the Moorhead area.

“In Minnesota, we have what’s called a disease prevention and control framework and that’s a partnership with the state and local health departments and we also have a regional epidemiologist,” said Jamie Hennen, who is the┬ádirector of nursing with Clay County Public Health.

The regional epidemiologist has been giving updates on immunization rates and how many people are getting vaccinated in the community.

“From there, we just kind of try to get the information out to the public,” explained Hennen. “A general awareness about a vaccine, immunizations, what they are and when they should be vaccinated.”

Schools and daycares are taking precautions as well.

If children are attending without being vaccinated, they are asked to go get the vaccination before coming back.

Health officials say getting the vaccination early will benefit both you and your kids.

“It can be life threatening depending on how ill you become and whether or not you have immune compromising problems before,” said Hennen. “Measles is very contagious but the vaccine is very effective.”

Parents even stress the importance of getting your kids vaccinated at an early age.

“Vaccinations, I believe in my opinion, are very important,” said Joseph Clancy. “However, now a days with measles and especially if there is an outbreak in an area, then I believe that as a parent you should be informed.”

“Well measles can be life threatening so I mean, prevention is better than cure,” said Nana Ofem. “So if you vaccinate them when they are kids, you don’t have to deal with it in the future.”

Health officials say if you do catch the measles before being vaccinated, you can do a post exposure medication.

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