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Community Health

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2014 Measles Outbreak
In early 2014, the United States was jolted by a sudden Rubeola outbreak that marked the largest epidemic of this nature since 1996. The disease, believed to have been, spread by Filipino travelers, affected roughly one hundred and thirty Americans in seven states over the course of four months. Before the virus would retreat, six hundred and sixty eight people total would be diagnosed. Eighty four percent of those afflicted with the illness in the states were not vaccinated, allowing the disease to continue spreading, eventually jumping the Mexican border (Shute, 2014).
Rubeola, or more commonly, the Measles is spread easily from person to person through sneezing and coughing. The virus lives in the throat or nose mucus of an infected individual, and can thrive in the air space where it left the body for as long as two hours (“Measles (Rubeola) Topic-Overview,” 2015). Therefore, an individual who may have had zero contact with an infected person may still contract the disease from that person by simply crossing paths.
Obsolete to Outbreak-Health and Vaccination Trends
After Rubeola vaccine became available in the U.S. in 1963, reported cases of the measles plummeted, with any reported case being considered extremely rare today. Individuals born before 1957 were at a very high risk of contracting the disease before age 15, resulting in four hundred to five hundred deaths each year. An increased risk is simply not today’s climate, with the disease even reported “eliminated” in 2000. Therefore, the spike of over one hundred cases the first quarter of the year in 2014 raised a lot of questions in the health community (“Measles (Rubeola) Topic-Overview,” 2015).
A close look at the Philippines through a socio-economic lens is necessary to understand the beginnings of this outbreak. Twenty five percent of the Filipino population...

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