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First Minnesota measles case of 2018 confirmed in Hennepin County child

ST. PAUL — Health officials have confirmed the first Minnesota case of measles in 2018 in a Hennepin County child.

A 5-year-old who traveled internationally to a region where measles is common contracted the disease, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The child was most likely infectious from July 30 through August 7. The health department says if other cases popped up as a result of this case, symptoms would occur between now and August 28.

While measles were officially eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, those who travel to different countries can still contract the disease.

Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes followed by a rash that typically spreads from the head to the rest of the body. It generally takes 8 to 12 days from exposure to the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash usually appears two to three days after the fever begins.

The disease is highly contagious and can be contracted from sneezes, coughing and being in the same room as someone with the measles.

Both adults and children are advised to get the MMR vaccine, especially if they plan to travel internationally.

According to the Department of Health, Minnesota in 2017 experienced its largest measles outbreak since 1991, with 75 cases identified between April and August. Of those cases, 21 were hospitalized and 91 percent were not vaccinated.

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