Health Officials Warn of Possible Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

Health officials in Minnesota fear that an outbreak of measles will occur unless vaccination rates rise. Six cases, all in children aged 4 or younger, have been reported in Minneapolis so far this year. In contrast, only six cases of measles had been reported in Minnesota since 2005. According to the Star Tribune, officials say that the infectious disease seems to be spreading, especially among the Somali community.

Four of the children who have contracted measles have been hospitalized and have recovered. Officials are tracing the outbreak to a Minneapolis-born child who contracted measles on a trip to Africa; they are now tracking down people who may have been exposed to the infected children. In some cases, families are being asked to keep their children home for three weeks if they have not been vaccinated. 

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, and a rash that spreads down from the scalp and through the body. The disease is highly contagious. For every 1,000 children who contract measles, one or two will die, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials are now focusing on Somali families: Since 2008, there have been a number of reports of a high autism rate for Somali children in Minneapolis. Due to widespread and very much unfounded notions that vaccines might somehow be connected with autism, many Somali parents have been fearful of having their child vaccinated.

Dr. Osman Harare, a pediatrician in Minneapolis who is Somali, is urging parents to have their children vaccinated:

“We need to do some big campaign … to tell the people the vaccine doesn’t have any link with autism,” Osman said.

At the same time, the fears have been ingrained in the Somali community because of the rising numbers of children with autism, said Idil Abdul, co-founder of the Somali American Autism Foundation in Minneapolis. “Yes, measles is bad. Nobody wants measles. Nobody wants malaria, and certainly nobody wants autism,” she said. The frustration, she said, is that there is no known cause of autism, and “it’s not something you want to gamble on.” She said public health officials need to take their concerns seriously, while spreading the message about the need for vaccines.

Proponents of the belief that there must be an environmental cause for the dramatic increase in the autism rate in the past decade—once considered a rare condition, autism is now diagnosed in about 1 in 110 children in the US—have seized upon the high rate of autism in Somali children in the Twin Cities as evidence of a ‘cluster,’ with some pointing the finger at a theory that a Vitamin D deficiency can be linked to autism and also to vaccines with—as the Minneapolis measles cases suggest—has had dangerous results.

More and more evidence refutes any link between vaccines and autism. But it is clear that vaccinating a child against measles can prevent her or him from contracting the disease and, potentially, spreading it to others.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Why the High Autism Rate for Somali Children in Minneapolis?

Strategic Plan For Autism Research Released


Photo of Nigerian child with measles by Mike Blyth (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


John S.
Past Member 6 years ago


Lisa Barnes
Lisa Barnes6 years ago

I think most commentors here just want all humans to be healthy. Some of these extremists though are lacking in all the data and info regarding this issue. They apparently, by their bios do not have children and thus may not have the genuine impetus to study all the facts and possible solutions.
The bottom line is that many children are born now with compromised immune systems and are carrying the toxins of our reckless and inhumane industrialized universe as well as breathing it in on day one, eating it and sadly being poked with vaccines still laced with toxins. First of all, for all bringing a child into the world the most logical and healthy thing to do as a human is to breast feed your little human. That is the best foundation to combat a compromised immune system and a this invisibly toxic environment. Thousands plus infants that have compromised immune systems have suffered instantly adverse reactions to the molotov cocktails of the vaccine laced with it's chemical preservatives and worse yet the foolish pediatrician who douses a 1 day old, 3mo. old , 6mo. old and up with multiple vaccines at one doctor's visit!!!! So for those of you who are angry and say "Hellooooo! & I'm sorry the topic of not vaccinating really pushes your "BUTTON" please do a little more research before you pidgeonhole yourself and others for their choices or experiences. Studies show that those children with autism, chronic viral illnesses,etc. were usually not breastfed or bre

pam wilkerson
pam wilkerson6 years ago

Noted thanks for infor!

Khat Bliss
Past Member 6 years ago

Sent a few green stars on this one...sometimes other people just say exactly what's on your mind in regard to this issue!

Philip S.
Philip S6 years ago

According to the linked article above 3 of the 6 kids WERE vaccinated and 3 were not. So why take all that risk for a vaccine that doesn't even work?

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

I was born in 1943 and got more vaccinations than most kids did back then. I found out in the summer of 2009 that I have Asperger's (high end of autism spectrum). One theory about the high and rising incidence of autism is that it takes a combination of three problems to cause autism 1) some sort of genetic glitch impairing the ability to detoxify especially heavy metals, 2) exposure to something toxic such as the mercury in vaccines, and 3) some sort of nutrition deficiency that aggravates the impairment in the ability to detoxify including heavy metals. Since any one of several genes involved in detoxification could be messed up, you can't just probe for one bad gene to screen for susceptibility to heavy metal poisoning.
But if there were some way to screen for impairment in the ability to detoxify heavy metals, it might make sense to screen for such impairment, try extra nutritional support to overcome the problem, and retest and defer vaccinating until and unless the child becomes able to detoxify heavy metals.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

I had the measles at home. It was the first time I was sick enough that I didn't mind being stuck at home in bed. My sister caught it from me and got sick enough the doctor made a house call for her.

eric P.
eric Pritchard6 years ago

Unfortunately, there is much reason to believe that there is a strong link between vaccines and autism. This report by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. explains that children are still being exposed to mercury in vaccines and that this is a likely cause of the rise in autism rates.–-mercury-link-exists/

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

When I was child we all had measles.. I notice that did not kill all the Boomers.