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  #601  
Old 07-18-2019, 04:53 PM
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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
EBOLA
MEASLES

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ebola-e...cy-11563386422
Quote:
Ebola Epidemic in Congo Declared a Global Health Emergency
World Health Organization says outbreak has infected more than 2,500 people and killed nearly 1,700 of them

Spoiler:
The World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a global public-health emergency, a rare move that seeks to mobilize more funds to stop the deadly virus nearly a year after it first took hold in a region marked by decades of conflict.

The United Nations public-health agency convened its emergency committee three days after health authorities disclosed a first Ebola case in Goma, a city by Congo's eastern border with Rwanda.

The city of about two million people hosts the region's busiest international airport and its main mineral trading hub and serves as the regional headquarters of scores of relief agencies.

The outbreak, which was first declared on Aug. 1, has already claimed at least 1,676 lives, while 2,512 people have been infected, according to the Congolese health ministry. That makes it the world's second-deadliest after the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic that killed some 11,300 people in West Africa.

"The declaration of the public-health emergency is a measure that recognizes possible increased national and regional risks," said the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday. "Our risk assessment remains that the risk of Ebola spread in the DR Congo and the region remains very high."

This is the fifth time the WHO has declared the spread of a disease to be a "public-health emergency of international concern," a designation that signals risk that a disease could spread internationally and is meant to corral political and financial support to stop it.

The agency has declared emergencies previously for the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, the spread of polio in 2014, Ebola in West Africa in the same year, and the birth defects and other neurological conditions associated with the Zika virus in 2016.

Despite medical and treatment advances -- most notably the wide use of an experimental Ebola vaccine -- local and international health workers have failed to contain the outbreak, the first ever in an active conflict zone. Health officials say they now find 10 to 15 new cases a day, compared with around 25 a week in mid-March.

Although more than 160,000 people have been vaccinated against Ebola, many residents still distrust outsiders and don't believe that the virus is real. Since January, aid agencies have documented more than 170 attacks on Ebola workers in the mineral-rich Ituri and North Kivu provinces, which are home to dozens of armed militias.

The U.N., which has over 20,000 peacekeeping troops in Congo, created a new Ebola emergency coordinator in May to tackle security threats, but attacks have continued. Since June, more than 300,000 people have fled violence in Ituri, one of the affected provinces, according to the U.N.

"We are watching a crisis turn into a catastrophe," said Gayle Smith, president of Washington-based charity, the ONE Campaign. "The time to start caring about Ebola isn't when it reaches the shores of the United States or Europe, it's now."

Recent cases in Goma and Uganda also raise serious concerns over local authorities' ability to catch patients before they can infect others. Ebola is passed on through bodily fluids such as sweat, blood or saliva.

The man diagnosed with Ebola in Goma was a priest who had just returned from a visit to Butembo, one of the epicenters of Congo's outbreak, and had passed several checkpoints on his way back to the border city. He died on Tuesday.

The agency also said on Wednesday that a woman who died of Ebola in Congo had gone to sell fish at a busy market in neighboring Uganda on July 11 while she was showing symptoms of the highly contagious disease. She died four days later in a Congolese Ebola unit.

Congo's health ministry said it had identified 97 people that the priest had come into contact with, while officials there and in Uganda were still searching for people who may have been infected by the fishmonger.

Health experts welcomed the international emergency declaration, saying it was overdue as the virus spreads.

"This is perhaps the most complicated epidemic the world has ever had to face, yet still the response in the DRC remains overstretched and underfunded," said Josie Golding, epidemics lead at Wellcome, a U.K.-based health charity.


https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...la-and-faster/
Quote:
Measles is killing more people in the DRC than Ebola—and faster
"Frankly, I am embarrassed to talk only about Ebola," WHO director-general says.

Spoiler:
As the world anxiously monitors the outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo, health officials note that a measles outbreak declared last month in the country has killed more people—mostly children—and faster.

FURTHER READING
What to know about measles in the US as case count breaks record
Since January 2019, officials have recorded over 100,000 measles cases in the DRC, mostly in children, and nearly 2,000 have died. The figures surpass those of the latest Ebola outbreak in the country, which has tallied not quite 2,500 cases and 1,665 deaths since August 2018. The totals were noted by World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a speech today, July 15, at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
"Frankly, I am embarrassed to talk only about Ebola," Dr. Tedros said (he goes by his first name). He gave the speech in response to two new developments in the Ebola outbreak. That is that two Ebola responders were murdered in their home in the DRC city of Beni and that officials on Sunday had identified the first case of Ebola in Goma, a DRC city of over one million at the border with Rwanda.

"Both of these events encapsulate the challenges we continue to face on a daily basis in DRC," he said. Tedros was referring to the scattering of disease—including Ebola and measles—as violence hampers outbreak responses and access to medical care. Since January, officials have counted 198 attacks on health responders, which left seven dead and 58 healthcare workers and patients injured.

Ebola control
The current Ebola outbreak is the second largest on record (surpassed only by the 2014 West African outbreak that sickened more than 28,000, killing 11,000). WHO experts have expressed "deep concern" about it, noting the risks that it could spread to neighboring countries in the region. Still, they determined on three separate occasions so far that the outbreak does not meet the criteria of a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC.

FURTHER READING
Massive Ebola outbreak spreads across DRC border, infected 5-year-old in Uganda
In the latest development, health officials jumped into action when a 46-year-old pastor tested positive for Ebola in the DRC city of Goma. The pastor was on an evangelical mission and had recently traveled from Butembo, which has grappled with the viral disease since last December. While there, the pastor had delivered sermons in seven churches and laid his hands on worshippers, some of whom were ill.
Though he began experiencing symptoms while in Butembo, he traveled by bus to Goma on July 12 with 18 other people. The bus passed through three health checkpoints on its way, but the pastor showed no symptoms and gave different names at each checkpoint. This is possibly because he was trying to conceal his identity and health status, officials said.

By the afternoon of the 14th, healthcare workers in Goma confirmed he had Ebola and transferred him to an Ebola treatment center. Officials have since tracked down the other 18 bus passengers. Today, the DRC health ministry decided to send the pastor back to Butembo for further treatment, according to Doctors without Borders.

"Because of the speed with which the patient was identified and isolated, and the identification of all the other bus passengers coming from Butembo, the risk of it spreading in the rest of the city of Goma is small," the ministry said in a statement.

Viral spread
So far, the Ebola outbreak has largely stayed in DRC's North Kivu and Ituri provinces, which sit on the eastern side of the country and border South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda. The measles outbreak, on the other hand, has spanned at least 23 of the country's 26 provinces. The health ministry declared an outbreak on June 10 and noted a 700% spike in the case count over the count in the first half of last year.

"And yet it gets little international attention," Dr. Tedro noted, adding that malaria also kills more than 50,000 people each year in the DRC.

Just like with the Ebola outbreak, violence, population movements, and community fear have kept the measles outbreak simmering.

"We often talk about the need to bridge the humanitarian-development nexus," Dr. Tedro said. "This is the moment to practice what we preach. WHO is committed not just to ending this [Ebola] outbreak, but to strengthening DRC's health system... To build trust, we must demonstrate that we are not simply parachuting in to deal with Ebola and then leaving once it's finished."

FURTHER READING
Study: US is slipping toward measles being endemic once again
While health officials face unique challenges to curbing disease in the DRC, the republic is far from the only country to face a boom in measles cases. In 2018, WHO and UNICEF tallied nearly 350,000 measles cases worldwide, a figure more than twice that of 2017. Many countries reported outbreaks, with some of the largest being in Ukraine, the Philippines, and Brazil.
So far in 2019, the US is experiencing the largest measles outbreak since 1992. Access to vaccines plays a large role in the rise, as does vaccine refusal. The WHO listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top ten threats to global health in 2019.
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  #602  
Old 07-22-2019, 02:40 PM
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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
EBOLA

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-persp...lBKQ3rlVhN5XbQ
Quote:
Ebola cases climb in Beni as groups laud emergency decision

Spoiler:
One day after the World Health Organization (WHO) called the ongoing Ebola crisis in the eastern reaches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), DRC officials said they accept the designation — with some reservations.

"The ministry hopes that this decision is not the result of the many pressures from different stakeholder groups who wanted to use this statement as an opportunity to raise funds for humanitarian actors despite the potentially harmful and unforeseen consequences for the affected communities that depend on them," the DRC ministry of health said yesterday in their daily update on the outbreak.

Officials also said the DRC government had been and remained to be transparent about how funding was being used in the outbreak, and that they hope any aid group that receives an increase in funding because of the PHEIC would also be transparent about spending.

The comments seem to reflect the hesitancy the some in the DRC have had surrounding a PHEIC, which they argue would do little to actually increase the outbreak response and instead further economic distress in that country.

The designation comes just a few days after Goma, the region's largest city recorded their first case of the disease.

CDC, OXFAM, weigh in on PHEIC
After yesterday's PHEIC announcement, several international non-governmental organizations and public health institutions applauded the WHO's decision.

"Ending the Ebola outbreak is one of the Trump Administration's top global health priorities," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "We appreciate the strong response of Dr. Tedros and WHO leadership to this outbreak, yet it is clear that much more remains to be done. The United States government has already played a vital role in supporting the response in the DRC and neighboring nations, and will continue this support until we have put an end to the outbreak."

The CDC said it is working with the US Embassy in DRC to place CDC staff in Goma; CDC also has 246 permanent staff in the three high-risk countries bordering the outbreak (South Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda), including 43 in DRC.

Oxfam said the PHEIC would bring much-needed global attention to the outbreak, and said that any new funding the PHEIC brings to the DRC must be monitored.

"This is also a crucial opportunity to strengthen the public health response and to respond to broader humanitarian needs in the country. Any new funding must be accompanied by stricter accountability to ensure that everyone is working effectively together to end this dreadful outbreak, that has claimed the lives of so many Congolese people," an Oxfam statement read.

WHO: No current cases outside of DRC
Yesterday the DRC confirmed 10 new cases of Ebola, including 6 in Beni, which also saw 3 community deaths yesterday. Beni has seen a flurry of cases in recent days, and in the last 3 weeks, 50% of all confirmed cases have come from that city.

Today the DRC will likely confirm another 10 new cases, raising the total to 2,532. As of yesterday, there were 1,698 deaths in the outbreak, and 374 suspected cases under investigation.

Vaccination continues across the outbreak zone and in Goma, with a total of 164,757 people vaccinated with Merck's VSV-ZEBOV.

"Vaccination around the confirmed Goma case continues at the Afia Himbi Health Center in the Goma Health Zone," DRC ministry of health officials said. "All contacts in the city were found in less than 72 hours, including the motorcycle taxi driver that the pastor had used to get to the health center. The response teams from Beni and Butembo continue the investigations to trace the pastor's journey and identify his contacts in these two cities."

Today the WHO also said there were no current cases of the virus outside of the DRC, dispelling a rumor that a woman from Beni traveled to Uganda while infected with the virus, before returning to the DRC. The WHO said there is no evidence to suggest she traveled to Uganda after contracting the virus.



http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-persp...ZnkgpbvTKteLfc
Quote:
Daily double-digit Ebola cases continue in DRC

Spoiler:
The number of people infected with Ebola continues to rise steadily in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC's) outbreak zone, according to reports yesterday and today, with one more healthcare worker sickened by the virus and the outbreak total rising to 2,546 cases.

New health worker infection
Of 10 new cases reported in the health ministry's update yesterday, 4 were in Beni, a former Ebola epicenter that has become a hot spot again. The others were in Butembo (2), Mandima (2), Vuhovi (1), and Mutwanga (1). Outbreak responders are still investigating 402 suspected cases.

One of the new illnesses involves a vaccinated health worker from Mandima. So far, 137 healthcare workers have been infected in the outbreak, 41 of them fatally.

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) online Ebola dashboard reflects 14 more cases, which would push the outbreak total to 2,546.

Seven more people died from their Ebola infections, the DRC health ministry said yesterday, including four in community settings in Beni, Mandima, and Vuhovi—a factor that raises the risk of further transmission. The death total has now passed 1,700, with 1,705 confirmed fatalities, the DRC health ministry said yesterday.

Stepped up surveillance in Goma
In its report yesterday, the ministry said the entry point monitoring team at Goma International Airport will now operate 24 hours a day to identify contacts of confirmed cases traveling through the area.

Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, the DRC's health minister, was in Goma yesterday to meet with response teams following the detection earlier this week of the provincial capital's first case, a pastor arriving from Butembo who died from his infection. Kalenga visited the checkpoint in Nyragongo where the pastor had traveled through, as well as a new 60-bed Ebola treatment center being built by Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Vaccine trial, virus biobank, volunteer deployment
Meanwhile, in other Ebola developments:

Additional phase 3 VSV-EBOV trial findings based on participants in earlier studies in the United States, Canada, and Spain found that immunogenicity was durable and persisted through 24 months and that doses from three different vaccine lots showed similar immunogenicity at 28 days. Also, researchers found no vaccine-related adverse events or deaths over the 2-year study period. The group published its findings yesterday in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Public Health England (PHE) today posted a report on the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone (MOHS)-PHE Ebola Biobank, which was established in 2015 with the Sierra Leone government to collect and transfer residual samples to the PHE, based on arrangement for secure transfer detailed in a Sierra Leone export permit. Sierra Leone retains ownership of the data and materials and is working with the PHE and other research groups to develop and conduct research studied. The biobank is funded by a Wellcome Trust grant and is accessible to a host of researchers.

The African Union announced today that it will deploy more volunteers to support the DRC's Ebola outbreak response. According to a press release, the move was triggered by the WHO's public health emergency declaration this week, and volunteers will work in both the DRC and surrounding countries. The same volunteer group was deployed in West Africa's 2014-16 outbreak. So far 41, experts have already been deployed. The trained team consists of 800 epidemiologists, as well as experts in logistics, laboratory science, communications, and anthropology.

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  #603  
Old 07-25-2019, 06:54 AM
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HEPATITIS A

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tenness...W5FuuTrLCAzbiM
Quote:
Tennessee hepatitis A outbreak tops 2,000 cases

Spoiler:
Since the hepatitis A outbreak began in December 2017, Tennessee state health officials now put the outbreak case count at 2,022. Of this total, six out of ten cases required hospitalization and 10 deaths were reported.

The Mid-Cumberland region has seen the most cases with more than 400, followed by East region with 386 and Chattanooga-Hamilton with 252.

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is working with local health officials and other partners to respond to this outbreak. Those considered at high risk for hepatitis A infection in this outbreak include people who abuse drugs, people experiencing homelessness and men who have sex with men.

Hepatitis A can be prevented by a safe and effective vaccine. People who believe they have been exposed to hepatitis A or are experiencing homelessness, use injection or non-injection drugs, are men who have sex with men or had contact with someone who has hepatitis A should contact a health care provider about hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis A is a contagious, vaccine-preventable liver infection that is spread in the feces of infected people. Most people become sick about a month after being infected. The illness can range from mild to serious illness and in some situations, result in death. Over the last five years, Tennessee has seen an average of 13 cases per year, often associated with travel to countries where hepatitis A is common.




https://www.bradenton.com/news/local...ODtXSahfk-Nzik
Quote:
Hepatitis A cases still increasing in Louisiana

Spoiler:
Data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows cases of Hepatitis A have been continuing to increase across the state.

There have been 375 reported cases since the outbreak began in January 2018 through July 18, 2019, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports .

The outbreak is mostly affecting drug users and homeless people, said Louisiana Bureau of Community Preparedness Medical Director Frank Welch.

"It's become endemic in a certain population," Welch said. "It's in this subgroup of people and it keeps passing around."

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The size of this outbreak could put other populations at risk, according to Welch.

"Oftentimes when we talk about a public health disease with these particular risk factors, people will say, 'That's not my problem. I don't have that,'" Welch said. "But once outbreaks get large enough, we get spillover in the general community."

Welch says the infection has been making people sicker than normal. About 60% of infected people were hospitalized whereas the typical hospitalization rate is around 25%.

The state bought 15,000 Hepatitis A vaccinations to limit the outbreak among homeless populations and have distributed about 8,000.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection that's often spread when people use the bathroom and then don't wash their hands.
https://www.miamiherald.com/living/h...9xNayEIIAXoDwQ
Quote:
Hepatitis A has ‘exploded’ in Florida. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself

Spoiler:
Florida’s hepatitis A outbreak shows no signs of easing.

In fact, the numbers are growing.

On Monday, the Florida Department of Health released its latest county-by-county report and found that the state has had 1,978 reported cases of hepatitis A this year alone through July 20.

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That figure is almost as many as the total 2,526 hepatitis A cases reported in an 18-month period from Jan. 1, 2018 through July 20, 2019, according to Florida’s health department.

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The rise of the virus, which can cause liver damage, started to pick up a pace when the number of reported cases doubled from 2106 to 2017 and then nearly doubled again in 2018, after remaining relatively stable in previous years, according to the department.

“Case counts in 2019 in [the first seven months of] 2019 have already surpassed those in 2018,” the department said on its website. Nearly all of the reported cases — 98% — were likely acquired locally in Florida, the department said in its report.

Tuesday, The News Service of Florida reported the incidents of hepatitis A “exploded this year in parts of the state, such as in the Tampa Bay region and areas of Central Florida.”

REPORTED HEPATITIS A CASES
Indeed, Pasco County reported 355 cases, the highest number in the state, from Jan. 1 to Saturday. Pinellas County was second with 323 reported cases.

Volusia was third with 174 cases. Orange County was fourth with 140 and Hillsborough rounded out the Top 5 with 114 cases.

Miami-Dade reported 25, Broward had 12 and Palm Beach noted 40 cases of hepatitis A. Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, had no reported cases.

Other parts of the state, like rural counties across North Florida, have seen few cases, according to the health department.

For instance, in addition to Monroe, there were no cases of reported hepatitis A in counties such as Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Dixie, Gadsden, Gulf, Highlands, Holmes, Jefferson, Lafayette and Suwannee.

Hepatitis A is a reportable disease in Florida and case counts include confirmed and probable cases, the health department said. The report’s case data figures are preliminary and can change as the department gathers new information.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis A is “usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water.”

The CDC says that hepatitis A does not result in chronic infection.

HEPATITIS A SYMPTOMS
hepatitis-liver-generic-art-.jpg
Hepatitis A attacks the liver and can cause serious health issues. It is a preventable disease with vaccines. magicmine GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
According to the CDC, most adults will have symptoms that can include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice.

These symptoms usually get better within two months of infection.

Most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection.

“Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection,” the CDC says.

HOW TO PREVENT HEPATITIS A
This is why both the CDC and Florida Department of Health say that vaccination is the best way to prevent a hepatitis A infection.

Since October 2018, the number of first doses of hepatitis A vaccine administered by both private providers and county health department to adults 18 and older remained above the previous five-year average, when looking at Florida SHOTS data.

In the most recent week, July 14-20, 5,172 doses were administered, the health department said.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.

Practicing good hand hygiene is another measure to help protect against hepatitis A. Wash your hands thoroughly, in hot water with soap, after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

These measures play “an important role in preventing the spread of hepatitis A,” the CDC says.
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  #604  
Old 07-25-2019, 06:57 AM
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SEASONAL FLU
AUSTRALIA

https://7news.com.au/news/public-hea...GTls9Ce1HJyfU0
Quote:
Influenza deaths: Queensland toll surges to 66

Spoiler:
Flu killed 66 people in Queensland in the first half of 2019 - that's 65 per cent more deaths than in the whole of 2018.

A record 28,896 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu have been diagnosed across the state since the start of the year.

Watch the video above of six-year-old Mia's battle with killer flu

That figure is more than three times higher than the record flu season of 2017.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the 2019 rates were also five times higher than the average number of influenza cases across the state over the past five years.

"Too many Queenslanders are already dead, the season is yet to peak so we have to do more," Miles said on Wednesday.

Related:
Flu treatment: The tiny tablet cutting recovery time
Melbourne schoolgirl dies after coming down with flu, as horror season continues
Flu deaths force NSW aged care home into lockdown for four weeks
"All year we've been vocal about the need for Queenslanders to be taking precautions, including getting the flu shot, but we're also doing a lot in our hospitals to protect the public.

More funding
Miles said the state government was spending another $1.95 million to help combat the record flu epidemic.

It will be used to fund an additional blood culture testing instrument at Pathology Queensland, conduct genomic sequencing to characterise flu strains and increase the number of nurses available to take calls on 13HEALTH during peak periods.

Of the people diagnosed across Queensland in 2019 so far, more than 25,000 contracted influenza A.

About 1680 of those cases required hospitalisation, including 165 who needed treatment in intensive care.


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Old 07-30-2019, 01:51 PM
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UNITED STATES
MEASLES

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1UO1MF
Quote:
U.S. records 16 new measles cases as outbreak shows signs of slowing

Spoiler:
(Reuters) - The United States recorded 16 new measles cases between July 18 and July 25, federal health officials said on Monday, as the spread of the disease, which has infected 1,164 people this year in the worst U.S. outbreak since 1992, shows signs of slowing.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the new cases represented a 1.4% increase in the number of cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease since the previous week.

In recent weeks, the CDC has reported smaller increases in the number of measles cases, compared with a surge of more than a hundred cases reported in a single week earlier this year.

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The running tally of cases this year, which have popped up in 30 states, includes active cases and those that have since resolved. No fatalities have been reported.

Health experts say the virus has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to give them the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine, which confers immunity to the disease. A vocal fringe of U.S. parents cites concerns that the vaccine may cause autism despite scientific studies that have debunked such claims.

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Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for a year. Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common.

CDC officials have warned that the country risks losing its measles elimination status if the ongoing outbreak, which began in October 2018 in New York, continues until October 2019.


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Old 09-01-2019, 04:44 AM
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MEASLES
UNITED STATES

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...es-resurgence/

Quote:
“We’re embarrassed”: US is close to losing measles-elimination status
Health experts blame vaccine misinformation—and themselves.

Spoiler:
There’s a “reasonable chance” that the US will soon lose its status as a country that has eliminated measles. That’s according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FURTHER READING
What to know about measles in the US as case count breaks record
The World Health Organization considers a disease eliminated from a country or region if it has gone at least 12 months without continuous spread of said disease. (This is different from disease eradication, which is when a disease is completely stamped out globally. Humans have only managed to eradicate two diseases: smallpox and rinderpest, which infects cattle and other ruminants.)
The US triumphantly declared measles eliminated in 2000—after spending decades tenaciously working to promote widespread vaccination. (The CDC had originally hoped to have it eliminated by 1982.) And in 2016, the WHO declared measles eliminated from the Americas altogether. WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO) celebrated the news with announcements titled, in part, “Bye, bye measles!”

But now—after a global resurgence of the highly infectious viral illness, spurred partly by misinformation and vocal anti-vaccine advocates—both of those achievements are close to being undone.

Massive outbreaks of measles ignited late last September in New York. The disease has continued to spread in flare-ups around the country, sickening a total of 1,215 people since the start of 2019. This week, the CDC reported 12 new cases from the week before. Experts expect the weekly case counts will rise with the start of school—and they’re bracing for a stinging defeat.

"We're embarrassed. We're chagrined," infectious disease experts Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University told CNN.

Messonnier echoed the feeling, telling CNN: "It certainly is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to the public health community that we may lose measles elimination status, because we do have a safe and effective vaccine.”

FURTHER READING
Germany’s health minister proposes a $2,790 anti-vaxxer charge
The US wouldn’t be alone in its humiliating defeat. Earlier this month, the WHO determined that the UK had lost its measles-elimination status, which it had won only in 2017.
“Losing our ‘measles-free’ status is a stark reminder of how important it is that every eligible person gets vaccinated,” Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at Public Health England, said in a tweeted statement.

Schaffner and others in the public health community blame vaccine misinformation as well as themselves for the losses, saying that they were not fast and effective enough to protect the public. "I think this was not our finest hour," Schaffner said.

In a statement released today, Wednesday, August 28, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the problem of vaccine misinformation directly.

“Misinformation about vaccines is as contagious and dangerous as the diseases it helps to spread,” he said in the statement. While he urged governments to strengthen health services, he called upon social media platforms and the private sector in general to help in the fight. “I call upon them to do more to filter out misinformation and inaccuracies that prevent people from achieving health and well-being.”

In April, the World Health Organization reported that worldwide cases of measles in the first three months of 2019 were 300% higher than those in the first three months of 2018. In 2017, the most recent year for which there’s complete data, measles caused close to 110,000 deaths.

This post has been updated to correct a typo. There were close to 110,000 deaths from measles in 2017, not 11,000.


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Old 09-03-2019, 01:12 PM
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Measles, continued:
Wisconsin has 50000 not-vaccinated kids returning to school:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/...ak/2152352001/
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  #608  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:16 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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NEW YORK CITY
MEASLES

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/loca...559226361.html
Quote:
NYC Health Officials Say Measles Outbreak Has Ended
The city has seen 654 cases of measles - the most in 30 years - since an outbreak mostly concentrated in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn began in October 2018

WHAT TO KNOW
A measles outbreak concentrated in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York City is over, health officials said
Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot cautioned that there's still a threat and urged people to have their children immunized
The city has seen 654 cases of measles - the most in 30 years - since an outbreak concentrated in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods began


Spoiler:
A measles outbreak concentrated in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York City is over, meaning an emergency order mandating vaccines will be lifted, health officials said Tuesday.

The officials said two incubation periods since the last reported cases have passed without any new infections. But city Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot cautioned that there's still a threat from "one of the most contagious diseases on the face of the earth," and urged New Yorkers to still get their children immunized before the start of the new school year.

"Staying up to date on vaccines is the best way for people to protect the health and safety of their friends, family and neighbors," Barbot said.

The city has seen 654 cases of measles - the most in 30 years - since an outbreak mostly concentrated in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn began in October 2018, officials said. That prompted an emergency order mandating that nearly everyone in those neighborhoods get vaccinated or face possible fines.

Rockland County Ends Measles State of Emergency[NY] Rockland County Ends Measles State of Emergency
Rockland County will not renew the state of emergency order issued during its months-long measles outbreak -- but that does not mean the outbreak is over. Erica Byfield reports.(Published Thursday, July 25, 2019)
In June, state lawmakers revoked a religious exemption for mandatory school vaccinations amid the nation's worst measles outbreak since 1992. More than 26,000 children in public and private schools and day care centers had previously gone unvaccinated for religious reasons, according to the state Health Department.

New York became the fourth state, along with California, Mississippi and West Virginia, to eliminate religious and personal-belief exemptions for vaccines. All states allow medical exemptions.

More than 1,200 cases of measles have been confirmed in 30 states this year with more than three-quarters of them linked to outbreaks in New York and New York City, the Centers for Disease Control reported.
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  #609  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:07 AM
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MALARIA

Malaria Atlas Project (via Data is Plural)

https://map.ox.ac.uk/

https://map.ox.ac.uk/explorer/#/

Lots of neat data layers to look at -- I looked at sickle cell allele prevalency vs. Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate in 2-10 year olds (parasite that causes malaria).
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