Health Highlights: May 4, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Measles Outbreak in Minnesota Grows to 34 Cases

More than 30 children in Minnesota have been infected by the measles in recent weeks, state health officials report.

The majority of cases are unfolding in the state's Somali-American community, where many parents avoid the vaccine that can prevent measles because of unfounded fears about possible links to autism, according to the Associated Press.

Almost all of the infected children were not vaccinated against the measles, and 11 have been hospitalized.

Despite the fact that health officials are taking measures to contain the spread of the virus, more cases are expected, the wire service said.

As of Wednesday, the tally had reached 34 in what has become the largest outbreak in the state in almost two decades.

Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director with the Minnesota Department of Health, told the AP that the source of the outbreak hasn't been pinned down.

However, measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, so outbreaks in this country typically start when travelers are infected overseas and bring the virus home, the AP reported.

Although nine other states have seen measles cases this year, the Minnesota outbreak is by far the largest, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles is a serious respiratory disease that is highly contagious and causes a rash and fever, according to the CDC. In rare cases, it can be deadly.

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