Measles in Minnesota: more cases and a visitor

26 Mar

We recently discussed here on LeftBRainRightBrain the measles outbreak in Minneapolis. Since then the number hospitalized has continued to rise. There are now six kids who have been hospitalized. As of March 23rd (two days ago) there were 11 cases of measles total. Why bring this up on an autism-focus blog? Because the outbreak has ties to the autism communities. One of the questions that has arisen in recent years is whether there are more autistic children amongst the Somalis in Minneapolis than amongst other groups. In response to the news that a larger fraction of young Somaili children were in the autism classes, Generation Rescue reached out to the Somali community. Andrew Wakefield reached out to the Somali community. Fear of autism appears to be behind a possible low vaccination rate amongst Somali children. And, now, Somali children have higher incidence of measles in this outbreak.

According to the MDH: “Four of the cases were too young to receive vaccine, five were of age but were not vaccinated, and two have unknown vaccine status”. Of those unvaccinated, I believe at least three were from the Somali community.

In response to the measles outbreak, Andrew Wakefield is once again speaking with the Somali community there. In Anti-vaccine doctor meets with Somalis, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a controversial British doctor whose research purported to link vaccines to autism, met privately with a gathering of Somali parents in Minneapolis on Wednesday night.

and,

Wakefield, who arrived amid the city’s first measles outbreak in years, declined to answer questions about the purpose of his visit. Reporters were barred from the meeting, which was described as a “support group” for parents of autistic children.

I find this closed door discussion more than a bit ironic. Calls for transparency abound when people are inquiring about the government’s actions. But Mr. Wakefield declined to even comment for the press, much less allow access to his meeting.

The Minnesota department of Public Health has translated their measles fact sheet into Somali.

It was noted that Mr. Wakefield has discussed a study on the Somali autism prevalence question:

Patti Carroll, an organizer of Wednesday’s meeting at the Safari restaurant, said that Wakefield is helping to build support for a study about rising autism rates in the Somali community.

What wasn’t mentioned is that the National Institute of Mental Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Autism Speaks are already starting a project to study the question.

I can’t help but think back to one of the Jenny McCarthy interviews a few years back. She made a comment that maybe people will have to start dying of vaccine preventable diseases before people take her seriously. My guess is that she wasn’t expecting outbreaks that could be so directly tied to her, her organization (Generation Rescue) and one of her mentors (Andrew Wakefield).

10 Responses to “Measles in Minnesota: more cases and a visitor”

  1. Meg March 26, 2011 at 08:19 #

    Well this is my list time posting my comments in this site. I am moving on because I want nothing to do with the Autistic/Auitsm community because it is so bad and it is wearing me down. Also the ND and the Curebies communities are also wearing me down by fighting like cats and dogs and I also don’t want to spned my time and engery watching and reading their augurments and nether one of them have interest of helping with people on the autism spectrum but fighting and they don’t care. I don’t wont to be a part of any both sides whatsoever. I am autistic and my life in not all about autism because there are more life is more focus than autism. I hope you the best and stay strong.

  2. sharon March 26, 2011 at 09:52 #

    @Meg, thanks for your touching comment. I think your point is precisely why we need to work hard in the area of research. Until we identify the true causes of ASD people will continue to argue.

  3. stanley seigler March 26, 2011 at 19:03 #

    [meg say] Well this is my list time posting my comments in this site. I am moving…the ND and the Curebies communities are also wearing me down by fighting like cats and dogs and I also don’t want to spned my time and engery watching and reading their augurments and nether one of them have interest of helping with people on the autism spectrum…I hope you the best and stay strong.

    Meg, thanks for your most fitting comments…and my very best to you and i know you will stay strong.

    you might consider posting your thoughts here/elsewhere once in a while to remind us we should be more focused on providing a quality life for those NOT cured…no need to get into the cat/dog fights…the only side you need to take is yours.

    [sharon say] why we need to work hard in the area of research…

    research is needed…however providing a quality life…(inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness)…gets the crappy end of the stick…eg;

    too much funding (grants) goes to the publish or perish folks with minimum if any real help for folks on the spectrum…there should be a more equitable distribution of time/energy/funds/debates.

    especially in this manufactured fiscal crisis crap time…support programs being cut “into” the bone…cuts to the bone have been in effect for years.

    i say manufactured cause in CA-USA a 1% increase in tax/fees would fix the deficit…instead:

    “moonbeam [CA gov brown] signed into law billions of dollars in budget cuts Thursday that will mean fewer government services, particularly for the old, the poor and the sick [those not cured]” http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/6832

    just as “there are no real cowboys left,”…there are no real DEMs (Democrats) left.

    stanley seigler

  4. Sullivan March 29, 2011 at 21:14 #

    Today’s update:

    There have been 13 confirmed cases of measles reported in Minnesota. Cases have ranged in age from 4 months to 34 years old. Five of the cases were too young to receive vaccine, six were of age but were not vaccinated, and two have unknown vaccine status. There have been eight hospitalizations and no deaths.

    11 of 13 were definitely unvaccinated. The other two unknown. The “index patient” was an adult of Somali descent who traveled to east Africa (returning through Kenya).

    • Sullivan March 29, 2011 at 21:23 #

      Meg,

      sorry to have put this off so long. I definitely take your comments to heart. It is time to move on, and we are.

  5. stanley seigler March 29, 2011 at 22:06 #

    [Sullivan say] Today’s update: 11 of 13 were definitely unvaccinated. The other two unknown. The “index patient” was an adult of Somali descent who traveled to east Africa…[meg],It is time to move on, and we are..

    when…quality support for those NOT cured is sorely needed…our compassionate society would just as soon ignore them…have ignored…eg, ignore the homeless we avert from our glance on the street…we are such hypocrites.

    wonder how we will rationalize as we sit on the bottom ring of the fiery pit…hope there aint no hell.

    stanley seigler

  6. stanley seigler March 29, 2011 at 22:11 #

    LBRB, i have posed comments which are not shown…please advise if they are inapporite so i can move on…

    stanley seigler

    • Sullivan March 30, 2011 at 17:56 #

      From MDH

      Situation Update (3/30/11)
      There have been 14 confirmed cases of measles reported in Minnesota. Thirteen of the cases have been linked to a case that acquired infection in Kenya and one case acquired infection in Florida. Cases have ranged in age from 4 months to 51 years old. Five of the cases were too young to receive vaccine, six were of age but were not vaccinated, and three have unknown vaccine status. There have been eight hospitalizations and no deaths.

  7. AutismNewsBeat March 31, 2011 at 15:55 #

    Stanley, the index case was a 30-month old child. That’s old enough for at least the first MMR vaccine. The booster can come four weeks after the first shot.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kennedy Has a Fundraiser in the Middle of the Largest and Longest Measles Outbreak in Recent New York History – VAXOPEDIA - March 24, 2019

    […] Measles in Minnesota: more cases and a visitor […]

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