Department of Health Spends $200,000 on Measles Outbreak in 3 Weeks

May 10, 2017 01:17 PM

In the midst of Minnesota's worst measles outbreak in decades, a committee of lawmakers listened to a briefing from state health officials Wednesday morning.

The Minnesota Department of Health presented outbreak details at the House Health and Human Services Committee meeting just moments after the agency's commissioner asked legislators for more response money. It comes one day after Minnesota's measles count reached 50 confirmed cases.

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RELATED: Measles Reaches 50 Confirmed Cases

MDH's Kris Ehresmann explained to the committee just how much work the agency is pouring into the outbreak. She said while 50 outbreaks have been confirmed, roughly 7,000 exposures have been investigated at three schools, 10 day cares and multiple health facilities. In just three weeks, MDH has spent more than $200,000 on the measles outbreak.

"I just want to point out the very labor intensive nature of this work," Ehresmann said. 

Ehresmann also pointed to encouraging progress reaching the Somali-American community that she said was targeted with misinformation on vaccines. She said the agency typically sees 30 doses of the MMR vaccine administered per week. Now, in the midst of the outbreak, Eheresmann said the number of doses has soared to 500 per week.

RELATED: Measles Reaches 50 Confirmed Cases

The recent outbreak is the largest since 1990, when there were 460 confirmed cases and three fatalities. There are 47 confirmed cases in Hennepin County, two in Ramsey County and one in Crow Wing County.

Most of the confirmed cases have occurred in children ages 0-17. Three adults have been diagnosed. Forty-five of the confirmed cases are unvaccinated, one has received one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination and two have received two doses of the vaccination. The vaccination status in one case is unknown.

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Tyler Berg

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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