In 2023, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed a case of measles in the Twin Cities metro area. The risk to the public is extremely low, but MDH is currently investigating and will inform anyone who may have been exposed. This news comes as declining vaccination rates are increasing the risk of the spread of the disease, which was eradicated in the United States more than 20 years ago. To maintain herd immunity and prevent outbreaks, communities need high vaccination rates.
In the 2023-24 school year, only 87.2% of kindergarten students were fully vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, compared to 92.6% in 2019. Officials believe that this decline is due to people not having routine well-child visits during the pandemic. However, parents and guardians can access their children’s immunization records online and make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations.
Riley Moser is a digital line producer at wcco.com who often covers breaking news and feature stories. In 2022, Riley received an honorable mention in sports writing from the Iowa College Media Association.