Two Dakota County children have been diagnosed with measles this month, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
A 1-year-old child fell ill after visiting Kenya, where the disease is “endemic” MDH announced in a statement released Friday.
The second child became sick after exposure to the first child. Both children have been hospitalized.
Neither had been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.
Any additional cases are likely to occur between now and Sept. 8, based on exposure periods and the length of time patients are contagious.
Symptoms of measles can crop up eight to 12 days after exposure. The MDH describes symptoms of measles as “fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, watery eyes and a rash. The rash usually lasts five to six days and begins at the hairline, moves to the face and upper neck, and proceeds down the body. Vomiting or diarrhea can also accompany these symptoms.”
Contact a doctor with any concerns.
Dropping vaccination rates have led to a resurgence of measles internationally.
"Minnesota communities are at risk of a similar increase in cases if we do not maintain high measles vaccination rates," said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division at MDH in the statement. "Contrary to misinformation that may still be circulating, the measles vaccine is safe and effective. Without it, the risk of disease is real."