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
Opioid Overdoses In Philadelphia, fatal drug overdoses increased by more than 50% from 2013 through 2015, from approximately 460 deaths to approximately 700. 08/20/2017 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. 08/18/2017 09/03/2015 - Present
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. 05/24/2017 01/16/2016 - Present
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. 09/11/2015 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. 12/16/2015 07/29/2013 - Ongoing Monitoring