Disease

H7N9 avian influenza: China

The China National Health and Family Planning Commission reported an additional 28 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including four deaths, for the period of February 13 to 23. The 22 male and six female patients aged from four to 81 had their onset from January 27 to February 17.

Seoul virus: North America

In a follow-up on the multistate Seoul virus outbreak in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports laboratory-confirmed infection in 16 people in nine states as of Feb. 23.

Disease

Yellow fever – Brazil

From 1 December 2016 to 22 February 2017, a total of 1336 cases of yellow fever infection (292 confirmed, 920 suspected, and 124 discarded), including 215 deaths (101 confirmed, 109 suspected, 5 discarded), have been detected in six states (Bahia, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte, São Paulo, and Tocantins). The estimated case fatality rate is 35% for confirmed cases and 12% for suspected cases. To date, the majority (86%) of the confirmed cases are men and of which, approximately 81% are aged between 21 and 60 years.

Disease

Meningococcal disease – Togo

Since 1 January 2017, 201 suspected cases of meningitis with 17 deaths were reported by 19 health districts. In week 2, the district of Akebou which is part of the Plateau Region issued an alert after four cases of meningitis were reported. In week 4, the epidemic threshold was reached with nine cases and an attack rate of 12.4 per 100 000 inhabitants. From 2 January to 12 February 2017, 48 suspected meningitis cases with three deaths were reported (case fatality rate of 6.3%).

Disease

Mystery outbreak on São Tomé and Príncipe

An unknown disease that has afflicted some 2,000 people on the African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe remains a mystery as Portuguese doctors try to figure out the etiology and cure, according to Portugal media.

WHO sent a specialist from Benin because the pathology was similar to a common disease in Africa, particularly in Benin; however, a conclusion has yet to be met.

Earlier this month, media accounts reported the mystery disease may have been Buruli ulcer.

Mumps outbreak reported in Toronto

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is currently investigating 14 lab-confirmed cases of mumps involving individuals 18 to 35 years of age. While TPH continues to follow up with exposed individuals who are known to the confirmed cases, the investigation to date has identified that many of these cases have frequented bars in the west downtown core area.

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

On 4 February 2017, Taipei Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported one laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. This is the fifth human case with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus reported from Taipei CDC.

Disease

Cholera Found in Travellers from the Philippines

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) issued a warning Friday (computer translated) concerning a cholera outbreak reported in travellers from Cebu, Philippines.

Travellers that arrived Friday, Feb. 17 on Air Asia Z29048 (Cebu – Incheon, Seoul flight) at Incheon International Airport tested positive for cholera (V Cholerae O1 Ogawa, CTX +). The number infected was not disclosed.

Farmers kill thousands of pigs in disease-hit Latvia

Latvia has culled more pigs in the past two weeks than in the last three years, due to African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks. Nearly 15,000 head of pigs were culled as the result of the two recent ASF outbreaks in the country, according to Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS).

On 23 January, SFVS reported an outbreak of ASF at the Rukas farm of local pig manufacturer Ancers, where veterinary inspectors decided to cull the whole pig population of 5,023 head. This outbreak has been identified as the largest one ever in Latvia.

On 7 February, ASF was also detected at the Bunchi farm, which also belongs to Ancers. Here the total pig population was over 10,000 head and SFVS had to destroy the herd completely. Following these outbreaks, the Latvian government has introduced a state of emergency in several districts of the country for the first time since mid-2014.

Disease

Seoul virus – United States of America and Canada

On 24 January 2017, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through their Health Alert Network (HAN) publication, reported 8 cases of infection with Seoul virus in the states of Wisconsin (n=2) and Illinois (n=6). The first two cases were reported in early December 2016, when two home-based pet rat breeders in Wisconsin State developed an acute febrile illness, later confirmed as Seoul virus infection. Rats (Rattus norvegicus) at some facilities also tested positive for Seoul virus. Human infection with Seoul virus is not commonly found in the United States; this virus family also includes Sin Nombre virus, which is the most common hantavirus causing disease in the United States. This is the first known outbreak associated with pet rats in the United States.

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

Between 19 January and 14 February 2017, a total of 304 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection have been reported to WHO from mainland China though the China National IHR focal point.

Brazil yellow fever – Update

The Brazilian Ministry of Health, or Ministério da Saúde now puts the confirmed yellow fever death toll at 89.

Through Friday, 263 cases of the disease have been confirmed (Minas Gerais-225, Espírito Santo-34 and São Paulo-4). In all, 1,258 suspected cases were reported, of which 882 remained under investigation and 113 were discarded.

Concerning yellow fever related fatalities, of the 200 reported deaths, 89 were confirmed, 108 are still under investigation and 3 were discarded. Eighty-six percent of the confirmed deaths were reported in Minas Gerais (77).

Disease

Malaria increases reported in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela in 2016

According to a new Pan American Health Organization Epidemiological Alert this week, in 2015, a total of 451,242 malaria cases were reported in the Region of the Americas, representing a 62% decrease in comparison with cases reported in 2000, but representing a 16% increase compared to the cases reported in 2014, the year with the lowest number of malaria cases in the last four decades.

In 2015, eight of the 21 endemic countries (the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru) reported an increase in cases compared to the previous year.

Disease

Chikungunya Outbreak in the Philippines

Health officials M’lang, North Cotabato on the southern island of Mindanao have declared a chikungunya outbreak after some 50 people contracted the mosquito borne viral disease in the past week.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in Vietnam

After reporting about 50,000 hand, foot and mouth disease cases in 2016, Vietnamese health officials with the General Department of Preventive Medicine are warning the public to take protective measures as more than 2100 cases have been seen in 57 localities so far in 2017.

More Bird Flu Cases in China

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (February 16) received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that 61 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including seven deaths, were recorded from February 6 to 12.

New Antibiotic Discovered

A new antibiotic, produced by bacteria found on a species of African ant, found in Kenya is very potent against antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ like MRSA according to scientists. Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the John Innes Centre (JIC) discovered a new member of the Streptomyces bacteria family, isolated from the African fungus-growing plant-ant Tetraponera penzigi.

Disease

Dengue Fever in Cape Verde

For the first time in ten years, the islands of Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde off the coast of western Africa have reported two dozen confirmed dengue fever cases, according to an Observador report.

Cameroon confirms H5N8 bird flu in the north

Cameroon has confirmed a case of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus in the northern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday, citing a report from the Cameroonian livestock ministry.

The virus was found early January in exotic peacocks, in village chickens and in ducks, the ministry said.

Disease

Africa yellow fever outbreak declared over

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared the end of the yellow fever outbreak in that country today following a similar announcement in Angola on 23 December 2016, bringing an end to the outbreak in both countries after no new confirmed cases were reported from both countries for the past six months.

Cholera in Somalia

The Somalia Ministry of Health reported 913 new suspected cases of cholera, including 10 deaths and a case–fatality rate of 1.1% during the past week. This brings the total since the beginning of the year to 4026 cumulative suspected cases of cholera including 57 deaths (case–fatality rate 1.5%).

China – Bird Flu

Two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported on Mainland China.

Disease

Lassa Fever – Liberia

Two people from Nimba County, Liberia have died from infections of Lassa fever, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH) last week. Dr. Thomas Nagbe, Disease Prevention and Control head at the MOH said the first three Lassa fever cases were from Nimba, which included two fatalities and one individual who has hospitalized for the past two week. In addition, at least 100 contacts are being observed. Dr. Nagbe is calling Lassa a “major threat” that has now been seen in three counties: Bong, Lofa and Nimba.

Disease

Measles in Spain

Health officials in Catalonia have reported twelve measles cases among young adults in Barcelona, according to a La Vanguardia report. The twelve cases diagnosed so far in the metro Bracelona area are linked to the same original patient, a person who became infected in China in early January.

Disease

Bolivia – Yellow Fever

The Bolivia Ministry of Health has confirmed yellow fever in a 27-year-old male Danish tourist who likely contracted the mosquito borne virus while visiting the jungle, according to a Terra report. This is the first confirmed case in the country in ten years.

Saudi Arabia: MERS case reported in Mecca

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health reported an additional infection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from a patient in Mecca. The 60-year-old male expatriate is reportedly hospitalized in critical condition. The probable source of the infection is noted as direct contact with camels.

Bird flu hits poultry markets in major Chinese city

Authorities in China’s third-largest city warned that about 30 percent of its live poultry markets were contaminated with the H7N9 avian flu virus, as an eastern province ordered markets to shut, state media reported on Saturday.

East China’s Zhejiang province has ordered all markets across the province to halt live poultry trade on Saturday over bird flu concerns

In January, Zhejiang reported 35 infections of the H7N9 strain of bird flu, according to the provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.

Earlier on Saturday, China Daily said the disease control authority in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, urged residents to avoid contact with live poultry after tests in the past week.

Disease

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 10 January and 3 February 2017 the National International Health Regulations Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported seventeen (17) additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) including four (4) fatal cases. Three (3) deaths among previously reported MERS cases (case no. 1 and 2 in DON published on 26 January 2017 and case no. 6 in DON published on 17 January 2017) were also reported.

Disease

Hong Kong hepatitis A – update:

In a follow-up on the outbreak of hepatitis A cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-positive) in Hong Kong, The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) reports that retrospective investigations into previously reported cases further identified 11 hepatitis A cases among MSM from September 2015 to 2017 as of February 3, bringing the total to 24 cases affecting MSM aged from 22 to 51, with 20 who were known to be positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

China reports dozens of additional H7N9 bird flu cases

The National Health and Family Planning Commission in China announced that 45 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) were recorded from January 30 to February 5. The 31 male and 14 female patients aged from 27 to 83 had their onset from January 16 to February 1.

Chad – Hepatitis E Outbreak

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported Wednesday that hepatitis E outbreak is escalating across Am Timan, in the Salamat region of South-Eastern Chad and more help is needed.

MSF identified the first hepatitis E cases five months ago and has treated 885 patients with Acute Jaundice Symptoms (AJS), with numbers increasing to an average of around 60 new cases a week. AJS, which commonly causes the yellowing of the skin and eyes, can indicate if a person has hepatitis E. Since September, 70 patients have confirmed cases of hepatitis E (HEV RDT+), 64 have been hospitalized, and 11 have died, including four pregnant women.

Foot and Mouth Disease in South Korea

The South Korean government has placed the country on highest alert as a second strain of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed three days after a first outbreak was reported, officials said Thursday.

The A-type strain of foot-and-mouth disease was discovered at a Yeoncheon dairy farm, some 50 miles north of the capital Seoul, where at least 10 cows were found to have contracted the strain, according to food industry policy deputy minister Kim Kyeong-kyu.

After the O-type of the strain was detected southeast of the country, the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs ministry raised the country’s alert status one level to the maximum. The ministry has since then issued a travel ban for all livestock in South Korea, while ordering tougher quarantine and sterilization protocols