MN health officials want $5 million to fight infectious diseases

MDH Commissioner Requests $5M For Infectious Disease Response

MDH Commissioner Requests $5M For Infectious Disease Response

These cases are primarily in the Hennepin County and impact kids of the Minnesota-Somali community. Forty-eight of the cases affect children, with 46 affecting Somali-Americans, according to data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

If you don't have the vaccine that prevents measles, there's a 90 percent chance that you'll contract the virus, reports CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas.

Local media said the latest outbreak appeared to have started in an immigrant community, where vaccine skepticism prevails.

Scientific studies have shown there is no direct correlation between the MMR vaccine and increased risk in autism, even among children considered at high risk for the disorder.

Ehlinger has asked state lawmakers to create a public health emergency fund of $5 million in order to "ensure sufficient resources are available for immediate, lifesaving actions to protect Minnesotans from infectious disease outbreaks and other unanticipated public health threats".

Kate Awsumb, deputy communications director for the Minnesota Department of Health, said Friday all four Crow Wing County cases belonged to the same household, and that MDH had determined the transmission had likely occurred through the household. Measles is one of the most infectious viruses known, and it can hang in the air of a room for two hours after an infected person leaves. We have not had cases, but we share a border and our communities are intertwined, and the measles will find the individuals who are unprotected.

Judge orders prosecutors to charge Amtrak engineer in crash
In this aerial photo, emergency personnel work at the scene of a passenger train wreck in Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Federal investigators believe Bostian lost " situational awareness " but wasn't impaired or using a cellphone.

The current outbreak was first detected April 11 and has grown into the state's largest since 1990.

According to the MN health commissioner the cost for Minnesotans to fight infectious disease outbreaks is nearing 3 million dollars in 2017.

"You don't know what the issue's going to be, but you know it's going to happen", Ehresmann said. "There are economic costs for their families, and there are costs to the public health system".

Fourteen of those cases were from newly arrived refugees, eleven of whom were diagnosed with active TB in medical screenings overseas but were nonetheless allowed to resettle in Minnesota by the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security.

Health providers say measles has difficulty spreading in areas where at least 95-percent of the population is immunized. "They can have blindness or deafness, and so we wouldn't vaccinate if this was just a rash or illness - this is a very serious disease", Stinchfield said.

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