Measles Considered A Global Public Health Threat, Again

Measles Worldwide OutbreakPhoto By: Julien Harneis/Flickr

Measles has once again become a global public health threat with multiple countries announcing an outbreak in the first week of February. Madagascar, the Philippines, and some states in the US have published early Tuesday that their territories have been suffering from a measles outbreak.

Measles, which was declared an eliminated significant public health threat in the United States for two decades, has re-emerged in the Pacific Northwest and other states where vaccination campaigns are not reliable and parents have broad leeway over whether to vaccinate their children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received seventy-nine confirmed cases of measles since the start of the year. Fifty of these cases are saturated in the Washington State. Another outbreak of measles has also occurred in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, where 64 confirmed measles cases were reported since late last year.

The outbreak, according to C.D.C., began when an unvaccinated child caught the virus on a visit to Israel, where a massive outbreak of the disease has been occurring.

The worst cases of the outbreak have happened in Clark County, Washington, a fast-growing metropolitan near Portland, Oregon. County health officials declared a medical emergency last month as 49 new cases of measles have been reported from children under ten-years-old.

In Madagascar, more than 20,000 people were reported to be infected by the measles outbreak. This is considered the worst measles outbreak in the island nation for decades. The secretary-general of the ministry of health in Madagascar has told news agencies that more than 50,000 children have caught the disease since October 2018 and they have recorded over 300 measles-related deaths – mostly children.

The outbreak, which was a manageable and preventable disease through vaccination, has hit every region of Madagascar and all major towns and cities.

Meanwhile, the capital region of the Philippines, NCR, has also declared a measles outbreak, Wednesday, after health department reported that the cases in the area have grown by 550%.

“We are declaring an outbreak as cases have increased in the past weeks and strengthening surveillance of new cases and alert mothers and caregivers to be more vigilant,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

At least 55 deaths have already been confirmed since the outbreak began in Metro Manila, alone. /apr

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