Measels in the USA
New York City is currently grappling with a measles outbreak. Health officials have identified 16 cases of the highly contagious infectious disease, resulting in at least six hospitalizations, and are now warning unvaccinated individuals that they need to get their shots.
And New York isn’t the only place where measles — which was once so rare that it was virtually eradicated in the U.S. back in 2000 — is cropping up again. Within the past two months, health officials have also identified cases in the Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Dallas areas. Measles have also recently been reported in suburban areas in Connecticut and Illinois.
Just one case of measles can pose a huge public health threat, since it has the potential to be transmitted quickly. It can spread through the air when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. For instance, last month, thousands of California commuters were potentially exposed to the disease after an unvaccinated man with the measles rode public transportation.
Many of the measles outbreaks here in the U.S. originate after an unvaccinated individual has traveled abroad and contracted the disease there. Then, when they return to this country, they can spread measles among pockets of other unvaccinated people.
Officials say the underlying problem is that parents are not vaccinating their children.
Philippines: South Cotabato Declares Rabies Outbreak
In the aftermath of a human rabies death in Sto. Nino town in South Cotabato, Mindanao, provincial health officials declared a rabies outbreak.
Officials have launched a massive anti-rabies vaccination among pet animals in Barangay Poblacion of Sto. Nino in a bid to prevent the possible spread of the disease to other areas after a 44 year old man died of rabies.
Though a relatively rare cause of death in developed countries, 55,000 people die globally from this dreaded disease, mostly in Africa and Asia. That’s at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.