Midwest Muslim measles outbreak nearly doubles

Minneapolis

Minneapolis

A rare outbreak of measles in the United States that is sweeping through the “Somali-Minnesotan” population in the Minneapolis area has nearly doubled in size, officials said.

WND reported at the end of April when there were 30 cases of children in Hennepin County who had been diagnosed with measles, including 28 “Somali children who have not been vaccinated,” state health officials said.

On Wednesday, that total was up to 51 total cases, including 48 in Hennepin County, two in Ramsey County and the last in Crow Wing, state officials confirmed.

Forty-seven of the cases were in those who were confirmed to be unvaccinated, one case was unknown and three had partial doses.

Forty-eight of the cases were in children up to age 17, and there were three cases in adults.

“Forty-six of the cases are Somali Minnesotan,” the state said.

It is the worst measles outbreak in Hennepin County, which includes the city of Minneapolis, since 2011, when 26 cases were reported. That outbreak also involved unvaccinated Somali children.

WND had been given unconfirmed reports earlier that pediatric cancer treatments at Children’s Hospital Minneapolis were postponed due to the presence of measles patients at the hospital.

The parents of the cancer patients either “opted out” of their treatments when they were told of the measles outbreak, or had their treatments postponed, a health-care worker told WND.

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“This outbreak is about unvaccinated children, not specific communities,” Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said in a statement earlier. “Unfortunately, the Minnesota Somali community has been targeted with misinformation about vaccine risks. We’re partnering with Somali community leaders and health care providers to counteract that misinformation.”

Measles were declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. But Minnesota and other states see sporadic cases, typically linked to international travel and the influx of Third World refugees and asylum seekers.

President Donald Trump included Somalia on his list of six countries he wanted to include in a 120-day pause in refugee resettlement, along with Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Iran. But his executive order to that effect has been blocked by federal district courts in Washington and Hawaii.

The U.S. imports between 5,000 and 11,000 Somali refugees per year and has been doing so since war broke out in that country 25 years ago. More than 132,000 Somalis have come to the U.S. as refugees since 1990, with the largest community being in Minneapolis, followed by other large enclaves in Columbus, Ohio, Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta, in Fargo, North Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Portland and Lewiston, Maine, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Andrew Bostom, M.D., an academic internist specializing in general internal medicine who has also authored several books about the history of Islam, said Muslim communities often prove difficult to convince that vaccinations are appropriate for their children.

“The case against vaccinations is first an Islamic one,” he said, citing a 2011 article by Dr. Majid Katme, spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association in the United Kingdom.

“We are giving our innocent children haram [forbidden] substances and harmful chemicals that destroy their natural immune systems, causing disease, suffering and death,” Dr. Katme wrote.

In 2015, 134,000 measles-related deaths were reported worldwide. The last death in the U.S., where vaccination rates are generally high, was in 2015.

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Midwest Muslim measles outbreak nearly doubles
Source: WND