By the Minnesota Department of Health
Twenty-one Minnesota children have become ill with measles in the Twin Cities area since June 2022 (as of November 4, 2022). The case count will likely increase due to recent exposures in school and child care settings as well as in unvaccinated children who have recently traveled to countries where measles is endemic.
Minnesota health care providers can take action now to help prevent future cases of measles by:
- Considering measles for any patient who has compatible symptoms, especially if they report a recent exposure to someone with measles, recently traveled or had close contact with someone who has traveled to counties where measles is endemic. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Measles Information For Health Professionals page provides additional information on measles testing and reporting.
- Recalling all pediatric patients who are due or overdue for MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubeola) vaccine, especially older school-aged children.
- Assessing MMR vaccine status and strongly recommending the vaccine to patients who need it at every clinical encounter for acute and preventative care services.
- Recommending MMR vaccination to families with unvaccinated children planning to travel internationally and providing information on symptoms to watch for after they return home. The MDH Think Measles poster includes important messaging about measles for families traveling internationally, and it is translated into common languages spoken in Minnesota.
- Encouraging timely well-child visits to catch children up on routine vaccines they may have missed during the pandemic.
Recent measles cases were in children aged 1 to 13-years-old and have led to serious illness and hospitalizations. MMR vaccination assessment and recall should include older, school-age children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, because overall state MMR vaccination coverage has declined during the pandemic due to missed well-child visits. If your clinic needs MMR vaccination reminder-recall support, including a new, free patient texting program, reach-out to MDH’s Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information and resources on measles and prevention through MMR vaccination, visit Measles (Rubeola).
Views and opinions expressed in our guest posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians.