- Minnesota’s Hennepin County is in the midst of the state’s largest measles outbreak since 2011. Nine cases have been reported since last week, and officials expect the number to rise.
- So far,
all of the cases are among unvaccinated children. They have something
else in common too: The affected children are all part of Minneapolis
and St. Paul’s Somali-American community.
- According to a health department official, Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community has been a particular target of the anti-vaccination movement, colloquially known as “anti-vaxxers.”
- “They’re very much engaged with and targeting this community,” Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease division director at the Minnesota Health Department, said in a phone call Wednesday.
to Ehresmann, anti-vaccine groups began to target the Somali community
around 2008, amid concerns about autism among Somali-American
- Anti-vaccine groups started reaching out to the Somali community and showing up at community health meetings, she said, disseminating misinformation linking autism to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR. Since then, the population has seen a “steady decline in MMR vaccine rates.” Read more (4/19/17)