International travel is one reason why health officials say a measles outbreak in the Philippines is beginning to appear in the United States.The number of reported cases remain relatively small domestically but health officials fear it could increase.The Ohio Department of Health is currently investigating several suspected cases of measles in central Ohio that are linked to unvaccinated travelers who returned to the state from the Philippines.The highly contagious respiratory disease is caused by a virus that is easily spread. Symptoms of the measles usually appear a week after exposure. The disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted from four days prior to the onset of the rash to four days after the onset. Anyone who is not immunized and gets exposed to the disease has a high likelihood of getting ill.The Indiana Department of Health have not released information regarding any cases of measles this year. Officials say the virus can be prevented by the MMR vaccine.
The everyday management of hundreds of metric tons of fetid dirt, including sewer waste from Monrovia and its environs, especially the slum communities, remain a tremendous challenge to the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) particularly in the absence of reliable trucks.The waste is the fertile breeding site for the outbreak of diseases, most especially the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).UNICEF Liberia Country Representative, Sheldon Yett, said the Ebola virus is closely related to dirt (waste), and so are many other diseases, including cholera and malaria.“We know that about 600 metric tons of sewer waste are generated in the city everyday and that’s a tremendous amount and it is an emergency by itself. Yes, it is related to Ebola and other diseases too. Cholera is an example, because it is also closely related to sewer waste,” Mr. Yett said.The UNICEF Liberia boss said the donation of the six trucks came from the partnership and generosity of USAID and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The Government and people of the United States, through UNICEF, decided to make the donation to Liberia to ensure that Monrovia and its environs are free of any problem that would make the country vulnerable to diseases. The six trucks, valued at US$460,000, can offload dirt or wastes from either side and each truck contains six boxes of spare parts.The deputy team leader for planning of OFDA, Ms. Emily Gish, said the support to the MCC is to help stop the city from overflowing with sewer waste in the rainy season. “We are happy to be here to provide this support, especially when the rainy season is approaching. These trucks must start work immediately in order to help prevent the city from overflowing because of sewer waste,” Ms. Gish said.Assistant Public Works Minister George Yarngo said the issue of solid waste is a huge challenge and expressed gratitude to UNICEF for the trucks. Monrovia Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo thanked UNICEF for the trucks and the said MCC Solid Waste Department has many challenges and available logistics would eliminate them. “We appreciate the OFDA, UNICEF and also the WASH Cluster for giving us the trucks that would definitely make a serious impact on our cleaning exercises,” Mayor Mvogo said.It may be recalled that the MCC through its partners last week launched clean-up campaign against the foul smelling septic drains running through Newport Street and other streets and several other slum communities in Monrovia, including Soneiwhen and Buzzy Quarter. The campaign also includes the removal of wastes from hospitals, health centers and markets, amongst other areas.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)