Disease

Meningitis in Niger

Sixteen people have lost their lives to cerebrospinal meningitis in Magama local government area of Niger state, state officials confirmed yesterday. The breakdown of mortalities showed that nine female and seven males died in the latest outbreak of the disease in Madakayi and Aungwan Tunga villages. 31 cases of meningitis were reported on March 6 across four local government areas, namely Magama, Kontagora, Rijau and Agwara, and that of the four, apart from being the only council with mortality, Magama has the highest cases of 23, followed by Rijau with 4; Kotagora 3 and Agwara 1.

Disease

Malaria in South Africa

In March 2017, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received official reports of possible locally-transmitted cases of malaria detected in non-endemic areas of Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng Provinces. Forty-nine cases were reported between the end of February through March 12, 2017 in Thabazimbi and Lephalele municipalities in the western Waterberg District of North West Province.

Yellow Fever – Brazil

As of 16 March 2017, yellow fever virus transmission continues to expand towards the Atlantic coast of Brazil in areas not previously deemed to be at risk for yellow fever transmission. Last week, the state of Rio de Janeiro reported its two first confirmed autochthonous yellow fever cases in the municipality of Casimiro de Abreu, located 135 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro. This has prompted the World Health Organization Secretariat to determine that the State of Rio de Janeiro, with the exception of the urban areas of Rio de Janeiro City and Niterói, should also be considered at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Disease

Anthrax – India

Odisha media reported Saturday that two people are dead and nine other are sickened due to anthrax in the Bisra block of Sundargarh district of Odisha in eastern India. The nine affected are currently being treated.

Anthrax in the Philippines

Health officials in Lagangilang, Abra province in the northern Philippines are reporting at least 15 suspected human anthrax cases, according to a GMA Network report.

Disease

Nigeria: Meningitis in Sokoto, Rabies in Lagos

Nigerian health officials report five deaths due to bacterial meningitis in Sokoto state, according to a Premium Times report. The five victims in Gada and Wauru towns of Gada Local Government area. In Lagos, two human rabies deaths have been reported at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Avian influenza update: China

The China National Health and Family Planning Commission reported 21 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including four deaths, from March 10 to 16.

Mumps arrives in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reports that cases of mumps are beginning to appear in Louisiana. As of Wednesday, there have been 12 cases of mumps reported by the LDH Office of Public Health.

“There has been a large outbreak of mumps cases in Arkansas and we’re starting to see cases in Louisiana now,” said Dr. Frank Welch, medical director of the state Immunization Program, Louisiana Department of Health.

Disease

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

On 10 March 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of 26 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China.

Dengue in the Pacific

At least nine Pacific Island Nations today are experiencing dengue fever outbreaks, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The Solomon Islands has experience the highest number of cases, with more than 10,000 suspected infections since a dengue outbreak was declared in October 2016.

In Vanuatu, suspected dengue cases have risen to almost 2,000 since November 2016, impacting five of the countries six provinces.

In Fiji, the Red Cross has been disseminating information about dengue as part of its Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery work since May last year. There have been 155 confirmed cases of dengue so far in Fiji in 2017.

In American Samoa the government has declared a public health emergency after 30 suspected and 13 confirmed dengue cases. It is the first time the country has had a case of dengue serotype 2 since 1972.

In New Caledonia there have been 1,163 dengue cases and three people have died from the disease. Nauru has 50 suspected cases, and the virus has also been confirmed in Palau (51), French Polynesia (29) and Australia (202).

Disease

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

Between 24 February and 7 March 2017, a total of 58 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection have been reported to WHO from mainland China and China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Another outbreak of White Spot disease in Queensland, Australia

Queensland’s $360 million prawn industry has been dealt another blow with news the troublesome white spot virus has spread into Moreton Bay.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne says the virus that causes the disease has been detected near the Redcliffe Peninsula and Deception Bay.

Mr Byrne says the state government’s established a movement control order to prevent its spread, which will be in place for three months to allow further testing before determining future action.

Disease

Monkeypox outbreak in Republic of the Congo

An outbreak of monkeypox has affected 19 and killed seven people during the first two months of 2017 in Likouala province in northern Republic of the Congo, according to the Congo Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP). The outbreak originated in Betou district on 16 January 2017 when the index case, a male hunter, developed illness.

PHIL 2329 lores

Disease

Bird Flu – H5N8 strikes Nepal for first time; Vietnam reports H5N1, H5N6

Nepal’s livestock department recently reported the country’s first outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu, which stuck a commercial farm, as several countries in Europe reported more detections, including the already hard-hit southwestern section of France.

In related developments, Vietnam reported more outbreaks from two other highly pathogenic strains: H5N1 and H5N6.

Nepal’s H5N8 outbreak began on Mar 1 at a layer farm in Koshi zone in the southeastern part of the country, according a Mar 10 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus hit layers in two different sheds, one housing 40-week-old birds and the other containing 20-week-old poultry. Of 6,200 susceptible birds, the virus killed 3,650, and authorities culled the remaining ones to contain the spread of the disease. Rapid response teams also destroyed eggs, feed, egg trays, and some local hens. Surveillance has been stepped up in the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, Nepalese officials also reported another H5N1 outbreak, the third reported in recent weeks in Nepal. The latest outbreak occurred not far from the H5N8 outbreak in poultry. The event began on Mar 2 at a small zoo at a recreation park. The virus killed 6 of 14 whooper swans and 1 Asian openbill stork. Officials temporarily closed the park, as workers cleaned and disinfected the sheds and buried the dead birds.

Malaria declared an epidemic in Burundi

Burundi is suffering a worrying malaria epidemic, with more than 800 deaths since the beginning of the year. These figures are more than a quarter of the 3000 who died from malaria in 2016. Out of the 11 million total population, more than eight million cases of affected people were recorded in 2016.

Disease

New fungus outbreak in USA

The Centres for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), warned last year about the possibility of a fungus outbreak in the United States. Now, nine months after the warning, the first cases of the infection have been reported in the country and have alerted health authorities since this disease is severe and deadly.

Almost three dozen people have been reported to have this infection in the last days. This fungus is known for being both deadly and drug-resistant, hence the concern of health authorities of the new outbreak registered.

This particular fungus is a kind of yeast called Candida Auris, and since its discovery, it has been registered in all five continents. Starting in 2009, officials worried about a possible expansion of the disease, as in that year, one patient in Japan presented a severe ear infection thanks to the fungus. In the next seven years, the fungal infection has been present in Colombia, India, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Korea, Venezuela, and even the United Kingdom.

According to medical observations and analysis, this fungus is known for producing severe bloodstream infections. This disease can also be present in the patient’s ears. It is also known for being resistant to multiple drugs. The Candida Auris can also spread very easily since its attachable to health care settings and can survive there for many days and even months.

Anthrax – Australia

A second anthrax outbreak has been reported in Victoria’s north-west. At least one sheep has died from the disease at a property near Nyah, with a “significant number” of other sheep dying at the site over the past few months. It follows a property near Swan Hill being quarantined last week, with at least one confirmed case of anthrax. Agriculture Victoria said neighbouring properties in Nyah were being assessed and stock vaccinated.

Disease

Guinea – Measles Outbreak – Update

In a ReliefWeb update Friday on the measles outbreak in Guinea in West Africa the report notes that the measles outbreak that was declared one month ago has grown to affect 2,100 children since January. The outbreak has affected 17 of the 33 prefectures in the country with the southeastern prefecture of N’Zérékoré reporting the most cases at 675 this year to date.

Anthrax outbreak in Tanzania

Authorities in Tanzania are reporting an anthrax outbreak in the Northern District of Hai, in which at least 36 people were infected with the serious bacterium after consuming anthrax-tainted cow, according to a Premium Times report.

Hai District council executive director, Yohana Sintoo confirmed the outbreak saying it affected three villages of Sanya Station, and Tindigani in Kia ward and Nkwasira village in Masama West ward.

The victims presented at the hospital with symptoms of swollen eyes, lesions on the face, hands, cheeks and fingers.

Disease

Guinea – Measles Outbreak – Update

In a ReliefWeb update Friday on the measles outbreak in Guinea in West Africa the report notes that the measles outbreak that was declared one month ago has grown to affect 2,100 children since January. The outbreak has affected 17 of the 33 prefectures in the country with the southeastern prefecture of N’Zérékoré reporting the most cases at 675 this year to date.

Anthrax outbreak in Tanzania

Authorities in Tanzania are reporting an anthrax outbreak in the Northern District of Hai, in which at least 36 people were infected with the serious bacterium after consuming anthrax-tainted cow, according to a Premium Times report.

Hai District council executive director, Yohana Sintoo confirmed the outbreak saying it affected three villages of Sanya Station, and Tindigani in Kia ward and Nkwasira village in Masama West ward.

The victims presented at the hospital with symptoms of swollen eyes, lesions on the face, hands, cheeks and fingers.

Disease

Zika: CDC issues new travel notices

Local transmission of Zika virus in four countries has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issue advisories for travelers to Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives and Solomon Islands. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus, spreading it to people.

More human H7N9 avian flu cases reported in China

The China National Health and Family Planning Commission reported 22 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including three deaths during the past week. The 15 male and seven female patients, aged from 15 to 79, had their onset from February 19 to March 4.

Saudi Arabia: MERS cases up in 2017 to date

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) update, at the end of February 2017, a total of 1916 laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including 702 deaths (case–fatality rate: 36.6%) were reported globally. Of these, Saudi Arabia reported a total of 1561 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 633 deaths (case–fatality rate: 40.6%). In January 2017, a total of 18 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 6 deaths (case–fatality rate: 33.3%) were reported, while in February a total of 12 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 3 deaths were reported from Saudi Arabia.

Disease

Anthrax: Queensland, Australia

80 cattle die from bacterial disease in Queensland. Biosecurity Queensland is working with the managers of a St George cattle property following the death of approximately 80 animals. Testing has indicated the presence of the bacteria that cause anthrax and authorities are working toward containing any further cases in line with the agreed national protocol.

Romania: Measles outbreak

In a follow-up on the ongoing measles outbreak in Romania, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports from September 2016 to 17 February 2017 the Romanian National Institute of Public Health received reports of 3 071 cases of measles. To date, 16 deaths have been reported, all of which occurred in persons who were immunocompromised or had other co-morbidities.

Disease

Yellow fever – Brazil

As of 3 March 2017, yellow fever virus transmission continues to expand towards the Atlantic coast of Brazil in areas not deemed to be at risk for yellow fever transmission prior to the revised risk assessment.

The current advice by the WHO Secretariat for international travellers going to areas of Brazil deemed to be at risk, including Espírito Santo State in its entirety, is the following:

– Vaccination against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to the travel. Note that, as per Annex 7 of the International Health Regulations (2005), a single dose of a yellow fever vaccine approved by WHO is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease. Travellers with contraindications for yellow fever vaccine (children below 9 months, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with severe hypersensitivity to egg antigens, and severe immunodeficiency) or over 60 years of age should consult their health professional for advice;

– Adoption of measures to avoid mosquito bites;

– Awareness of symptoms and signs of yellow fever;

– Seeking care in case of symptoms and signs of yellow fever, while travelling and upon return from areas at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Sri Lanka

After reporting the most dengue fever cases in years in 2016, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health now reports a 58 percent increase in cases of the mosquito borne viral disease during the first two months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. Through February, Sri Lanka has seen 17,663 dengue cases.

Iraq: Chemical weapons reportedly used in Mosul

Following the reported use of chemical weapons agents in East Mosul, Iraq, WHO, partners and local health authorities have activated an emergency response plan to safely treat men, women and children who may be exposed to the highly toxic chemical.

Since 1 March, 12 patients including women and children with respiratory symptoms and blistering have been received for treatment by a referral hospital in Erbil according to local health authorities. Of these, 4 patients are showing severe signs associated with exposure to a blister agent.

ISIS has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria at least 52 times according to a report published late last year by IHS conflict monitor, a London-based research and intelligence gathering group. The report said that at least 19 of the 52 attacks took place in and around Mosul.