Change! Once vanquished diseases emerge across America

Posted by Leslie Eastman
<>    Sunday, September
18, 2016 at 6:30pm | 9/18/2016 - 6:30pm

Outbreaks of leprosy, active TB, and hand, foot & mouth disease

[image: stethoscope health care]

When President Obama said he would fundamentally transform America, who
could have guessed it meant that exotic diseases and once-vanquished
illnesses would break out across the county?

The Zika virus, which we have been following closely, is increasing its
footprint within our country. Florida Governor Rick Scott just announced
that the Zika virus transmission zone in Miami Beach has tripled in size

The new zone was set after the Department of Health identified five people,
two males and three females, in the area who all experienced Zika symptoms
within one month of one another.

The virus poses a particular threat to pregnant woman due to its link with
neurological disorders in unborn children.

It brings the total of nontravel-related Zika cases in Miami Beach to 35.

When was the last time you heard about leprosy, also known as Hansen’s
disease, which is a devastating bacterial infection that mostly occurs in
poverty-sticken regions of the world? Now, a California school has reported
two as yet unconfirmed cases among its student body.

Two elementary school children in Riverside County could have Hansen’s
disease, also known as leprosy, according to health officials.

Nursing staff at Indian Hills Elementary School in Jurupa Valley notified
county officials Friday of the suspected infections, which will take
several weeks to officially confirm, said Barbara Cole, director for
disease control for the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

“We have to keep stressing it’s not confirmed,” Cole said. “We’re just at
the beginning of the investigation.”

Jurupa Unified School District officials sent a letter home to parents
Friday to inform them about the unconfirmed cases and provide resources to
learn more about the rare disease, said district Supt. Elliott Duchon.

Duchon said a parent notified the school’s nursing staff of a preliminary
diagnosis of Hansen’s disease for a student at the school. He would not say
whether the two suspected cases were in the same family.

But elementary school kids aren’t the only ones at risk in this strange,
new world of infectious diseases. Florida State University is reporting
that 22 of its scholars
come down with hand, foot and mouth disease.

A university official told NBC News that as of Friday afternoon, there have
been 22 total cases of hand, foot and mouth disease — a highly contagious
virus in which sores develop in the mouth, and a skin rash with blisters
appears on the hands and soles of the feet.

“I’m thinking we’ve got probably one more little spike [in cases], then
hopefully it will have worn itself out,” said Lesley Sacher, executive
director of university health services at the Tallahassee school.

Florida isn’t the only state struggling to address public health crises.
Nineteen refugees were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB) in Michigan
between 2011 and 2016

One of these nineteen refugees, an Iraqi who arrived in the United States
in June 2015 with latent TB infection, was diagnosed with active TB in
March 2016, according to the Oakland County Department of Health and Human

Five of the nineteen refugees were diagnosed with active TB at the time of
their initial domestic medical screening, which usually takes place within
90 days of arrival. Fourteen were diagnosed subsequent to their initial
domestic screening, but within five years of their arrival.

Perhaps that is now why GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is now
surging in Michigan
to the point he’s in a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton in this
battleground state.

There certainly has been change in the quality of public health during the
Obama administration. Let’s hope the next president can fix this situation.

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