It’s been a busy week between Ebola and Ricin! Friday highlights include a Polio-free India, tuberculosis transmission from cat to human, and mandatory vaccines in Croatia. Have a great weekend!
On March 27, 2014, India was declared Polio-Free by the World Health Organization after three years of no new cases. The last case of polio in India was Rukhsar Khatoon, a 4 year old girl who became ill as a baby when her parents forgot to vaccinate her.
The Huffington Post—“Being declared polio-free once was considered all but impossible in a nation hobbled by corruption, poor sanitation and profound poverty. Although the disease could return, eradicating it is a landmark public health achievement.
This is “a day that we have dreamt about,” said Poonam Khetrpal Singh, a WHO official at a ceremony in New Delhi to declare the entire Southeast Asian region free of the disease. Singh described it as ‘a day that all countries fought hard for, and a day when all stakeholders come together to celebrate the victory of mankind over a dreaded disease.’”
Two people in England have contracted tuberculosis from a house cat infected with Mycobacterium bovis—a form of tuberculosis normally found in cattle. Nine cats in the Berkshire and Hampshire areas have tested positive for M.bovis which is extremely uncommon in cats and usually affects livestock.
BBC—“‘These are the first documented cases of cat-to-human transmission, and so although PHE has assessed the risk of people catching this infection from infected cats as being very low, we are recommending that household and close contacts of cats with confirmed M. bovis infection should be assessed and receive public health advice’ said Dr. Dilys Morgan, head of gastrointestinal, emerging and zoonotic diseases department at Public Health England.”
This week, the Constitutional Court of Croatia passed a law that mandates all children must receive childhood vaccinations for diphtheria, pertussis, measles, polio and others. This decision comes at a time when lively debate rages, in the U.S. and abroad, about vaccination and its importance or harm. This step by Croatia, in the words of the court, is a victory for children’s health over parents (wrong) choices.
The Daily Beast—“… public health imperatives and individual rights are often at odds: a country like the U.S. that values the rights of the individual always has trouble with laws that remind us that not everything is a choice. Kids must go to school. People must pay taxes. Children must be vaccinated. It is called living in modern society.”
Image Credit: Dwight Sipler/ Wikimedia Commons