Measles in Minnesota: child hospitalized and second isolation at home

Measles in Minnesota: child hospitalized and second isolation at home after testing positive for the most dangerous disease in children under 5

  • The youngsters began to suffer from measles symptoms shortly after returning from a country where the disease ‘is common’
  • Neither had been vaccinated against the disease and both lived in Hennepin County, which encompasses the state capital, Minneapolis.
  • Unvaccinated children most at risk of disease, health officials say
  • Up to one in 300 dies after catching the easily transmitted disease

Measles has been spotted in two Minnesota children, including one whose illness was so severe it led to them being hospitalized, local health officials said.

The youngsters – both aged under five – started showing symptoms of the disease shortly after returning from an unnamed country where ‘measles is common’.

While one child is in the emergency room of a hospital, the second is currently isolated at home.

Neither was vaccinated against the disease and both lived in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis.

Unvaccinated children are most at risk of measles, according to the World Health Organization. Figures show that one in 300 American children dies from the disease.

Measles has been eliminated in the United States for nearly 20 years through a comprehensive vaccination program. But globally, the disease continues to circulate in a handful of countries, including Brazil, India and parts of West and Central Africa.

The youngsters – both aged under five – began to suffer from symptoms after returning from a country where the disease is common (file photo)

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MEASLES AND HOW CAN I CATCH IT?

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world, even more so than Covid.

It spreads easily through coughing, sneezing, or even just being in the same room as an infected person.

Symptoms develop between six and 19 days after infection and include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes and fever.

These lead to a rash about three days later, which is red and blotchy for several days before turning brown and eventually fading.

Up to one child in 300 who catches the disease dies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the disease is more severe in young children.

There is a vaccine that provides 99% protection against measles.

It is given in two doses at about one year and five years.

The Minnesota Department of Health did not disclose what symptoms the children were suffering from.

But in the early stages, it can trigger white patches on the tongue and a brown or red colored rash all over the body.

Contact tracing is underway to determine if the disease has spread.

But health officials said: “Children were in isolation when symptoms started, so exposures were limited to healthcare and family settings.”

The United States offers a two-dose measles vaccine called measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). There are no one-shot options.

The first injection is normally given when the child is between 12 and 15 months old, while the booster is given between four and six years of age.

Children are not considered fully protected against measles until they have received both doses.

About 99 out of 100 people who get the vaccine become immune to measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world – more so than Covid – and is spread by coughing, talking or even being in the same room as a patient.

Early symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes followed by a rash that usually spreads from the head to the rest of the body.

The disease is more severe in children, according to the CDC and WHO.

About one in 20 children who contract the disease develop pneumonia, while one in 1,000 face brain swelling that can lead to seizures or even hearing loss.

Overall, about one in five people who get measles are hospitalized with the disease.

Patients are also at risk for long-term complications, including a fatal disease of the nervous system called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

It is now very rare in the United States because measles has been eliminated from the country.

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