The Minnesota measles outbreak has slowed down in recent weeks but the ongoing debate surrounding its spread became the focus of HBO's John Oliver on Sunday.
The British host and his team took a look at the outbreak predominantly among the Minnesota Somali community against the wider backdrop of the oft-debated, yet repeatedly debunked claim that the MMR vaccine that protects people against measles causes autism.
The claim stemmed from a '90s study by former surgeon Andrew Wakefield, from the U.K., whose report into an apparent link between the vaccines and autism was pulled from medical journal The Lancet due to "serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations," PublicHealth.org notes.
Wakefield lost his medical license, yet he continues to pursue his anti-MMR crusade, meeting with a group of Somali parents in Minneapolis in 2011, as reported by the Star Tribune.
As you can expect from Oliver – and HBO – there are a few curse words thrown in for good measure, not to mention some quips at the expense of Garrison Keillor (with the host mistakenly adding an "s" to Garrison) and the Mall of America.
You can watch the clip below.
What is the latest on Minnesota's measles outbreak?
As Last Week Tonight With John Oliver notes, the 78 cases in Minnesota so far this year are more than the entire number of reported cases in the U.S. during the whole of 2016.
But there are signs that the outbreak is slowing. FOX 9 reported on June 5 the number of measles cases in the state was up to 75, so there have been only three more confirmed cases in the three weeks since then.
According to Minnesota Department of Health figures, 69 of the 78 measles cases are in Hennepin County, with three in Ramsey, four in Crow Wing and two in Le Sueur counties.
Seventy-four of the 78 cases have hit children up to 17 years old, and all but seven of the cases afflicts unvaccinated patients. Sixty-five of the patients are Somali-Americans.