Pestilence Update

Measles outbreak: As students head back to school, US and world officials warn about risks

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, growing in intensity, frequency, size and duration.

Measles outbreak: As students head back to school, US and world officials warn about risks

Jared Weber USA TODAY•August 15, 2019

As students head back to school, physicians and public health officials are continuing their pleas for immunization — especially toward parents.

This year has already seen the most reported cases of measles in the United States in more than 25 years. And one of the populations at the highest risk of experiencing serious complications or death because of the viral infection is unvaccinated children.

“Traditionally, when we’ve had measles epidemics in America in the pre-vaccine era, they would peak in the late winter and early spring,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “This seems to be following that similar pattern.”

The very contagious and sometimes deadly disease, which is caused by a viral infection, was once declared eliminated in the U.S. But it has made a comeback in recent years, thanks in part to the spread of misinformation about vaccines. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 10 new measles cases, bringing this year’s total to 1,182.

The current measles outbreak isn’t just limited to the U.S. According to a Monday report from the World Health Organization, this year’s worldwide total of measles cases is at a 13-year-high, and about three times the number of cases reported at the same time last year.

More-severe measles outbreaks have occurred in Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan and Thailand. European countries reported nearly 90,000 cases for the first half of 2019 — exceeding the 84,462 total cases observed all last year.

In the U.S., worldwide travel has been a factor in several recent high-profile cases.

Last week, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency confirmed measles in an 11-month-old child who had contracted the illness in the Philippines. According to a May 27 report from WHO and UNICEF, the island nation had already seen 34,950 measles cases and 477 deaths this year.

The baby has since made a full recovery and no further cases have been reported, said Eric McDonald, medical director of epidemiology and immunization for the County of San Diego. Nonetheless, McDonald said the county would remain vigilant in coming months.

“There are a lot of measles cases throughout the world right now,” McDonald said. “When we have a lot of people traveling internationally from San Diego, we’re always at an increased alert.”

In another recent case, a flight attendant working for the Israeli airline El Al died after contracting measles on a flight from New York City to Tel Aviv, Israel. According to reports from Israeli media, it’s the country’s third measles-caused death since last November. Prior to then, Israel hadn’t experienced a single fatality from the viral infection in the past 15 years.

While the U.S. has seen measles outbreaks before, the global aspect of the illness’s current resurgence presents an unfamiliar threat, Hotez said. Making the health crisis worse are parents who don’t want their children to get vaccinated, officials said. A 2017 report from the Pew Research Center found that 17 percent of U.S. adults said that parents should have the right to decide whether their child should be vaccinated, “even if that may create health risks for others.”

Hotez was part of a team of researchers that conducted an academic studylast year that analyzed 14 U.S. metropolitan areas where more than 400 kindergartners had been excused from vaccines because they received “philosophical-belief nonmedical exemptions.” Fifteen states currently allow students to take philosophical exemptions for some vaccines.

“What we don’t know is what happens as kids are going back to school,” Hotez said. “You have a new issue, which is that measles is now widespread in Europe and it’s continuously being reintroduced into the United States because of air travel. Because we have large numbers of unvaccinated kids now in at least 15 urban counties in the U.S., we may see an uptick again as we move into the fall.”

On July 28, Washington state’s Senate passed a bill prohibiting its residents from receiving that philosophical exemption for the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. The decision was in part a response to one of this year’s biggest national outbreaks.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Jan. 25after the statewide measles case count climbed to 26 in the first few weeks of 2019. All but one of the cases were reported from Clark County, Washington — a county of about 480,000 people in the southwestern corner of the state.

The county immediately took action, identifying susceptible, unvaccinated populations and quarantining them off from others. According to Alan Melnick, the county’s public health director and health officer, the county had more than 800 people placed on active surveillance at one point.

Since May, Clark County has reported zero measles cases.

In a county report that followed the outbreak, local officials found that of the 71 overall cases reported by April 29, 61 of them included unvaccinated patients. In seven other cases, vaccination statuses were reported as “unverified.” The other three patients had received one dose of the MMR vaccine.

While Melnick said immunization rates for both children and adults skyrocketed in the weeks following the outbreak, he is worried another outbreak is imminent for Clark County.

“Measles exists in the world. It exists in the United States. It’s just a car ride, bus ride, plane ride or train ride away,” Melnick said. “And we continue to have populations that are unvaccinated.”

For many in the U.S. medical community, watching the outbreak unfold has been a disappointing experience.

“So much of medicine is centered around trying to find treatment and trying to find ways to prevent illness, so it’s extremely disappointing to see people contract a disease that we know is preventable,” said Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System in Maryland. “We have a way to prevent it.”

Categories: Pestilence Update

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