Measles outbreak rages after anti-vaccine groups target vulnerable communityEnlarge / MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL, 28: Lydia Fulton, LPN, administers the MMR vaccine to a child at Children’s Primary Care Clinic. (credit: Getty | The Washington Post)
Minnesota is experiencing its largest measles outbreak since the 1990s in the wake of a targeted and intense effort by anti-vaccine groups there to spread the false belief that vaccinations cause autism.
As of Thursday, health officials reported 41 confirmed cases, nearly all unvaccinated children from a Somali immigrant community in Hennepin county.

The community has for years been a target of anti-vaccine groups, aided by Andrew Wakefield, a fraudulent former physician.
In the early 2000s, the large Somali immigrant population had high vaccination rates.

But in 2008, fear that their children were suffering from higher rates of autism swept through the community.

Though research later concluded that autism rates were not unusually high in the community, anti-vaccination activists pounced on the panic.

The activists held community meetings and invited Wakefield to visit with scared families.
Vaccination rates dropped from 92 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2014.
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