Pestilence Update

Clamour for vaccines as measles outbreak kills nearly 1,000 children in Madagascar. Pestilence increasing ‘like the pains of a woman in labor.’

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

Clamour for vaccines as measles outbreak kills nearly 1,000 children in Madagascar

Adrian Blomfield. The Telegraph•February 20, 2019

A measles outbreak has killed nearly 1,000 children in Madagascar, providing a chilling glimpse of how rapidly the disease can tear through a country when too few of its population are vaccinated against it.

The Indian Ocean island is facing an “unprecedented” epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned, after 66,000 people contracted since the disease the outbreak was officially declared in October.

Health workers are deeply alarmed by how rapidly measles is spreading. In just five months it has taken hold in all but eight of the country’s 114 districts.

Even more worryingly, the number of new cases is surging. Two-thirds of the 992 deaths confirmed so far have been recorded in just the past six weeks.

The scale of the epidemic, the first in Madagascar for 15 years, is largely down the fact so few Malagasy children are inoculated against the disease.

Nearly four in 10 of the population have not received the two vaccinations required to protect them from measles, far below the 95 per cent level that constitutes “herd immunity”, meaning that enough people are protected against the disease to deny it a foothold.

The low uptake has little to do with the “anti-vax” philosophy that has taken hold in pockets of the West. Whereas in the rich world, measles vaccines are abundant and often available for free, most in Madagascar are desperate to inoculate their children but cannot do so.

One of the world’s 30 poorest states, Madagascar’s already ramshackle healthcare infrastructure has weakened in recent years, meaning that stocks of basic medicines and vital vaccinations are often in short supply.

Western aid workers recount stories of how some families have taken their children hundreds of miles in search of vaccinations only to find health clinics unable to help.

The consequence of those shortages is now becoming clear.

“The scale of the measles outbreak in Madagascar is of grave concern, as is its geographical spread,” the WHO said in statement.

“After an apparent steady decline in cases towards the end of 2018, the current upsurge in cases is a direct result of the loss of herd immunity through declining routine immunisation rates.”

The WHO, Unicef and the Malagasy authorities have launched four vaccination drives across the country to try to stem the epidemic, but for many it comes too late.

Doctors report cases of desperate parents taking 24-hour bus journeys from infected villages to get their children vaccinated, only to be told it was too late: measles had already taken hold.

Few represent Madagascar’s tragedy more than Hasina Raharimandimby. Over three successive days in late January, three of her four children died of measles.

She had tried to get them vaccinated at her local clinic well before they became sick, but there were no vaccines to be had, she told CNN.

The epidemic has been particularly devastating for infants. Babies aged nine months and below account for 84 per cent of the deaths confirmed so far. Nearly all the rest of the mortalities have been of school-going children.

Madagascar’s epidemic is a warning of what could happen elsewhere, even in the rich world, if measles vaccinations rates do not rise. Global coverage has stalled at 85 per cent in recent years, well short of herd-protection levels.

Because measles is so contagious — the virus can live in the air where an infected person has coughed or sneezed for up to two hours — controlling outbreaks can be extremely difficult.

In a major epidemic even some of those who have been vaccinated can contract the disease if their immune systems have been severely compromised by HIV, leukaemia or other conditions.

Measles, which once killed 2.6m people a year before a vaccine developed in the 1960s began to make a difference, is again on the rise. The number of global cases reported by the WHO doubled to 229,068 last year, 82,596 of them in Europe, largely because vaccination levels have stalled, experts say.

“We’re backsliding on the progress that has been made, not because we don’t have the tools, but because we’re not vaccinating,” said Katherine O’Brien, WHO’s director of immunisation and vaccines.

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