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Minnesota measles outbreak spreads to northern Minnesota county

BRAINERD, Minn. -- A child from Crow Wing County in north-central Minnesota has become part of a measles outbreak, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Wednesday.

An agency spokesperson said one unvaccinated child from Crow Wing County contracted the disease after being exposed to it in a Hennepin County health care facility.

"MDH and Crow Wing County Public Health are following up on family members and others who may have been exposed," Doug Schultz of MDH said.

He said the child was not a Somali person, but did not provide further details in order to protect the child's identity. The outbreak has particularly affected unvaccinated children in the Somali community in the past few weeks, as 29 of the 34 confirmed cases so far are Somali and 32 are unvaccinated, according to MDH. In April, MDH Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger linked the outbreak to false information the community had received about the supposed risk of vaccines, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus, Essentia Health reported.

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