The Philippines is again in the center of the news and for the wrong reasons. California health officials suspect that the origin of the measles virus that hit Disneyland last December was from the Philippines. The virus shares the same genetic material as the most common kind in the Philippines, LA Times reported.
The virus infection continue to spread in the US and the number of cases continue to increase.
Researchers learned that more than 50,000 people were sickened by measles in the Philippines last year where 10 of them died.
Officials said that they are sure about the origin of the virus but they don’t know up to the present how it arrived in the US infecting visitors in Disneyland, LA Times reported. Currently the number of cases of measles infection in the US has risen to 141 and health officials noted that most of those who infected were unvaccinated.
An additional twenty cases was reported last Tuesday to the number of cases already tallied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These are 10 in California from the Disneyland outbreak, 8 from the suburban Chicago outbreak at a day care center, and two unrelated cases in Nevada. Cases have been reported in 17 states and the District of Columbia
This is not the first time that measles infection in the US were linked from the Philippines with at least two other occasions in 2014 involving an Amish humanitarian health worker who was the cause of measles outbreak in Ohio in 2014, LA Times reported. Over 380 people were taken ill at that time.
It was also noted by the scientists that same type of measles common in the Philippines has also been detected in fourteen other countries including England, Germany and six American states, according to the LA Times. The state officials were informed about the results of the findings. They were not able, however, to trace the individual or the family that may have visited or worked at Disneyland between Dec., 17 and Dec., 20.
“The genotype is really the genetic fingerprint of the virus, and so it certainly tells you the number of cases that we have been seeing in California likely all relate to that individual that began at Disneyland,” Dr. Matt Zahn, medical director for Orange County told the LA Times.
Measles usually appear in winter and in early spring. The symptoms are runny nose, cough and rash all over the body. There are cases it can be fatal.