Disease

Ebola – West Africa

West Africa’s Ebola outbreak no longer constitutes a threat to international public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, declaring an end to a nearly 20-month emergency that has killed about 11,300 people.

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, accepted the recommendations of a committee of independent experts who also called for lifting any travel and trade restrictions affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“The Committee provided its view that Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitutes an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread is now low, and that countries currently have the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences,” the WHO said in a statement.

All original chains of virus transmission have ended, but a new chain in Guinea has infected eight people including seven who have died, it said, adding that the virus persists in the semen of some men for over a year.

Hepatitis A – Kenya

Twenty one people have been admitted to various hospitals in Mombasa over the past few days following a new outbreak of hepatitis A, county health officials have said.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infected person.

Mombasa Health executive Mohammed Abdi said the disease had been on the rise since January among school children and had escalated due to water contamination in the county.

Yellow Fever – China

On 13 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of China notified WHO of an imported case of yellow fever virus infection.

Zika virus infection – Dominica and Cuba

Between 15 and 16 March 2016, PAHO/WHO was notified of cases of Zika virus infection in Dominica and Cuba.

Microcephaly – Panama

On 18 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Panama notified PAHO/WHO of a newborn with concomitant microcephaly, occipital encephalocele and Zika virus infection.

Guillain-Barré syndrome – Panama

On 15 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Panama informed PAHO/WHO of a case of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) with concomitant Zika virus infection.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China

On 18 March 2016, the Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region notified WHO of a confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

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