The Philadelphia Department of Public Health provides guidance on emerging outbreaks of illnesses or conditions with significant public health consequences. To view guidance, click on an emergent health topic in the table below.

Emergent Health Topic Description Date Last Updated Date Range of Public Health Significance
Novel Coronavirus: COVID-19 In December 2019, an outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) began in Wuhan City, China. The situation is rapidly evolving. Cases have been detected among travelers from Wuhan City in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal and the U.S. Updated guidance and health alerts will be posted here for the duration of the outbreak event. 04/06/2020 01/01/2020 - Present
Hepatitis A On August 1, 2019, Philadelphia declared public health emergency in response to continuing rapid increases in hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections among persons who use drugs and those who are living homeless. 03/06/2020 08/01/2019 - Present
Opioid Overdoses In Philadelphia, fatal drug overdoses increased by more than 50% from 2013 through 2015, from approximately 460 deaths to approximately 700. 02/26/2019 10/25/2015 - Present
Acute Flaccid Myelitis In 2016, PDPH has received six Acute Flaccid Myelitis reports from area healthcare providers; two of which were confirmed and four are pending review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While no etiology has been identified as the cause of these illnesses, four of six patients had at least one specimen test positive for enterovirus. 10/03/2018 09/03/2015 - Ongoing Monitoring
Zika Virus Domestic transmission of Zika virus in Florida, increased summer travel, and the height of mosquito season in Philadelphia compels the need for area providers to remain vigilant regarding Zika virus recognition and prevention. 12/11/2019 01/16/2016 - Ongoing Monitoring
Ebola: 2014 West African Outbreak As of December 29, 2015, the World Health Organization declared Guinea free of Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola). In conjunction with similar declarations made on May 9 regarding Liberia and November 7 regarding Sierra Leone, this declaration signals the end of the largest recorded Ebola outbreak. 01/06/2016 07/28/2014 - 12/29/2015
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is a novel coronavirus that was first reported to cause human infection characterized by severe acute lower respiratory illness in September 2012. All cases have had direct or indirect links to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE)) during their incubation period. Only two patients in the U.S. have ever tested positive for MERS-CoV infection — both in May 2014. 09/06/2018 07/29/2013 - Ongoing Monitoring