MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed five new cases of measles in Hennepin County which brings the total number of cases to eight.

All eight are unvaccinated children between the ages of 1 and 4, according to the MDH news release.

Seven of the confirmed cases are Somali Minnesotans, according to MDH Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann.

Six of the ill children were hospitalized.

"Measles can spread easily among unvaccinated people, and we're working with the Somali community in the Twin Cities to alert people to the outbreak," Ehresmann said in the news release. "The best way to protect yourself and your community is to make sure everyone has been vaccinated."