Have you noticed that stories about measles have been popping up in the news a lot lately? At first I didn’t pay much attention, but then I decided to look into what is going on, and I was quite alarmed by what I found. At one time measles was a disease that was on the verge of being totally defeated, but now it is back with a vengeance.
According to the World Health Organization, the number of measles cases in Europe in 2023 was 45 times higher than it was in 2022…
There was an “alarming” nearly 45-fold increase in measles cases in Europe last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
Health chiefs are warning that cases are still rising and “urgent measures” are needed to prevent further spread.
Some 42,200 people were infected in 2023, compared to 941 during the whole of 2022.
What could possibly account for an increase of this magnitude?
I don’t know, because this isn’t supposed to be able to happen.
We are being told that Russia and Kazakhstan each reported approximately 10,000 cases during the first ten months of last year…
Russia and Kazakhstan fared the worst, with about 10,000 cases each from January to October last year. In Western Europe, Britain had the most cases with 183.
The WHO said there were nearly 21,000 hospitalizations and five measles-related deaths in the January-October period in the 51 countries in its European region.
Why is Russia being hit so hard?
Could this have anything to do with the war in Ukraine?
I don’t know.
Of course cases of measles have been spiking in many other parts of the globe as well. Here in the United States, there have been outbreaks in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Georgia during the past couple of months…
Nearly a dozen cases of measles have been reported in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Georgia in recent weeks, according to local health departments. International travel, coupled with declining global vaccination rates, is probably behind this spate of cases, experts say.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has confirmed at least nine cases of measles over the past month after a person contracted the highly contagious virus outside the United States and exposed a parent and child at a children’s hospital, according to health department spokesperson James Garrow. That exposure then led to a Philadelphia day care outbreak that includes at least five children.
Once measles appears in a community, it can spread very rapidly, and that is because it is extremely contagious…
But unlike other common viruses, measles is so contagious that up to 90 percent of people who are close to an infected person will become infected if they are not immune to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“It doesn’t have to be cough right in your face,” Stinchfield says. Tiny virus particles can survive in the air for two hours, where they “circulate around and bounce over to this person and that person, and before you know it, you’ve exposed a lot of people,” she says.
What’s more, a person infected with measles can spread the virus four days before the most obvious symptom — a telltale rash — appears.
Hopefully this measles scare will turn out to be nothing.
But I will be keeping a very close eye on any future developments.
Meanwhile, the H5N1 bird flu continues to kill vast numbers of birds and animals all over the planet.
In Argentina, it has been spreading rapidly among seals, and almost all of the seal pups that get infected end up dead…
Almost 96 percent of Southern elephant seal pups across Argentina born in 2023 have met a tragic end as a highly contagious strain of avian influenza continues to wreak havoc on wildlife.
The scale of mortality sparks concerns that the H5N1 strain is now capable of mammal-to-mammal infection.
“The sight of elephant seals found dead or dying along the breeding beaches can only be described as apocalyptic,” says Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) health director Chris Walzer.
Once there is sustained mammal to mammal transmission of H5N1, scientists tell us that it is probably only a matter of time before there is an outbreak among humans.
And that is really bad news, because H5N1 can have “a greater than 50% death rate” among humans according to the CDC.
So we will watch for more reports that H5N1 is spreading among mammals.
Earlier today, I found a story about a polar bear in Alaska that just died from the disease…
A polar bear has been killed by bird flu as the highly contagious H5N1 virus spreads into the most remote parts of the planet.
The death was confirmed in December by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. “This is the first polar bear case reported, for anywhere,” Dr Bob Gerlach, Alaska’s state veterinarian, told the Alaska Beacon.
It was found near Utqiagvik, one of the northernmost communities in Alaska, two years after this latest strain was detected in North America.
Needless to say, that is not a good sign.
There is one more thing that I wanted to mention before I wrap up this article.
Employees at a hospital in Denver have been given a live Ebola vaccine “for preventative measures”…
A few medical employees at Denver Health made history Monday as some of the first people to receive the live Ebola vaccine for preventative measures, the hospital said.
Ebola is a rare but deadly disease. In 2014, a major outbreak in West Africa led to some cases in the United States. While there are no known outbreaks in the world right now, members of Denver Health’s High Risk Infection Team said they are some of the first to receive the live vaccine as a way to be prepared in the event of a future outbreak.
If Ebola is not a threat in North America, why do this?
I don’t understand.
Over the past few years, there have been some tremendous public health scares, but I believe that what we have seen so far is nothing compared to what is coming.
The diseases that are already circulating around the globe will continue to mutate, and it is inevitable that new outbreaks will erupt.
In secret labs all over the planet, researchers are experimenting with some of the deadliest diseases ever known to humanity, and in many of those cases they are actually trying to make those diseases even deadlier.
It is way too easy for an accident to happen, and once a bug gets loose it can spread all over the world in the blink of an eye.
Our ability to create great “pestilences” has far surpassed our ability to control them, and that represents a very serious existential threat to all of humanity.
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