St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM New) - The Minnesota Department of Health is seeking emergency funding because of the ongoing measles outbreak.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger also cited his department’s ongoing responses to drug-resistant tuberculosis and hundreds of new cases of syphilis in seeking additional funding. He estimates the state and local response costs for just measles tuberculosis and syphilis for the first half of this year at nearly $3 million. A statement issued by Dr. Ehlinger says Governor Mark Dayton supports the request and will push to have included in a final budget agreement.

The measles outbreak is the worst to hit Minnesota and almost 30 years. The latest totals from the health department show there have been a 51 confirmed cases in three counties, although the vast majority of the cases have been in the Somali community in the Hennepin County. 48 of the infections have involved children under the age of 11 and nearly all of the patients had not been vaccinated against the potentially deadly disease.