Philippines – Japanese Encephelitis

Health officials in Nueva Vizcaya, in Cagayan Valley region in Luzon, are reporting eight confirmed cases of the mosquito borne disease, Japanese encephalitis (JE).

China: Human H5N6 avian influenza

Officials with China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission are reporting an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in a Guangxi man.



Madagascar – WHO plague update

WHO continues to support the Ministry of Public Health and other national authorities in Madagascar to monitor and respond to the outbreak of plague. From 6 to 17 November 2017, 216 cases of plague (1 confirmed, 20 probable and 195 suspect) were reported to WHO. From 1 August to 17 November 2017, a cumulative total of 2 267 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of plague, including 195 deaths (case fatality rate 9%), have been reported from 55 of 114 (48%) districts in Madagascar.


Nigeria – Hepatitis E

Since Feb. 2017, Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection was confirmed in 8 local government areas (LGAs) of Borno, with transmission still ongoing in Rann Kala Balge. The total number of jaundice cases reported since that time is 1262.

Infected Fugitives

Black Death patients are escaping hospital and refusing treatment sparking fears it may spread. Chief of medicine at a plague hospital in Madagascar says patients are scared of needles and not used to hospital treatment.

Security guards at the Central Anti-Plague Hospital in Ambohimindra, Madagascar, are tasked with keeping patients in as well as making sure those arriving follow safety procedures.

Malagasy people have also been told not to carry out their traditional burial tradition of Famidihana which involves digging up their dead relatives every seven years. It means ‘turning the bones’ and sees families cleaning the remains, rewrapping them and reburying them while other family members perform a special dance.

The African island’s government has told citizens to pause the tradition for fear the plague bacteria is still active in the corpses and can be spread to the living.


Madagascar – Plague: Epidemic phase of the outbreak is ending

The number of new plague cases in Madagascar has steadily declined since mid-October. From 6 to 15 November 2017, 149 probable (12) and suspect (137) pneumonic cases, 18 bubonic cases and 8 unspecified cases of plague have been reported to WHO


Diphtheria returns to war-torn Yemen

Besides the starvation and destruction brought on by years of war and a current blockade, cholera has become nearly synonymous with Yemen with well over 900,000 cases reported since April.

Now returning to Yemen for the first time since 2012 is the deadly vaccine preventable disease, diphtheria. By November 8 in Yemen were recorded 118 cases in which diphtheria was suspected and 11 deaths from that disease in ten provinces


Southeast Michigan hepatitis A outbreak – Update

In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak reported in southeastern Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) continues to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the area. Since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2016 through Nov. 7, 2017, 495 cases have been recorded, including 19 deaths.

Nigeria – Yellow Fever – Update

Since the first case of yellow fever was reported in Ifelodun LGA in Kwara State, Nigeria in mid-September, the outbreak has expanded to a number of states, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC). A yellow fever (YF) outbreak is currently active in Nigeria with three states recording confirmed cases (Kwara, Kogi, and Zamfara). 15 cases have now been confirmed.

Disneyland Park Linked to Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak

Disneyland park in California has been connected to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. The Legionnaire’s disease outbreak includes 12 people that were infected by the illness. Of these 12 people, nine had visited the Disneyland park in California. 10 of the 12 people were hospitalized after contracting the disease. The people infected by the disease were between the ages of 52 and 94.

Disneyland says that it was able to track the Legionnaire’s disease outbreak to two of its 18 cooling towers at the park. These towers were closed down and disinfected to clear them of the disease.


Venezuela – Measles

First it was malaria and diphtheria, now in Venezuela’s Bolivar state measles has reared it’s ugly head. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), between the last week of August and the first of October, Bolivar State reported 570 cases of Measles, specifically in nine parishes of the Caroní municipality.

Yemen – Cholera

The problems in Yemen continue to get worse as they face the largest humanitarian crisis and the worst food crisis in the world.

In addition to the largest outbreak in the world, a cholera outbreak that has sickened more than 920,000 and killed about 2,200, the Nov. 6 closure of the Yemen’s airspace, sea and land ports by the Saudi-led coalition (SLC) has worsened the already shrinking space for the lifesaving humanitarian work. It is blocking the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance to children in desperate need in Yemen. And it is making a catastrophic situation for children far worse.

Tanzania – Cholera

An outbreak of cholera in Tanzania has left 18 dead in two months, the health ministry said Saturday, warning the situation could worsen as the rainy season continues.

The ministry said the outbreak had left “18 dead out of 570 cases recorded” between September 1 and October 30, and urged local authorities to take measures to avoid the disease from spreading.


Madagascar – Plague

From 1 August to 8 November 2017, a total of 2,034 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of plague, including 165 deaths (case fatality rate 8%), have been reported from 55 of the 114 districts in the country. Of these, 1,565 (77%) were clinically classified as pulmonary plague, 297 (15%) were bubonic plague, one was septicemic, and 171 were not yet classified.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman

On 1 November, the International Health Regulations (2005) national focal point of Oman reported one case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Prior to this case, the most recent case of MERS-CoV from Oman was reported on 30 August 2017.


Ukraine – Measles

A measles outbreak has been reported by health officials in Ukraine. As of the end of July, Ukraine had reported 1,386 cases of measles, compared to 10 cases in the same period in 2016. Most cases of measles were reported in the Ivano-Frankivsk (637) and Odessa regions (526).


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

Between 27 September and 31 October 2017, the National IHR Focal Point of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including two deaths. Additionally, one death from a previously reported case was reported to WHO.

Marburg virus disease – Uganda and Kenya – Update

On 17 October 2017, the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH) notified WHO of a confirmed outbreak of Marburg virus disease in Kween District, Eastern Uganda. The Ministry for Health officially declared the outbreak on 19 October 2017.

As of 3 November, the three cases that have been previously reported (two confirmed and one probable case, the latter being the index case) have died, thus, resulting in an overall case-fatality rate of 100%. The cases were epidemiologically linked and come from one family.


Dengue fever – Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has been experiencing an epidemic of dengue fever since week 31 of 2017 (week ending on 6 August). WHO officially declared the outbreak on 28 September 2017.

In a period of about two weeks, the dengue case tally has gone from 2,298 (suspected, probable and confirmed) cases and nine deaths on Oct. 8 to 6,699 (suspected, probable or confirmed) cases and 13 deaths on Oct. 27 and officials say this is likely underestimated.

Plague outbreak update: Madagascar

In an update on the plague outbreak in Madagascar, UN officials now put the ever changing case tally in the epidemic that began on August 1 at 1,947 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of plague through Nov. 3. The death count has risen to 143.

Portugal: Legionnaires’ disease

A Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a Lisbon hospital has now infected 26 patients and two hospital employees. The outbreak reported at São Francisco Xavier Hospital in Lisbon is already the largest in a hospital unit in Portugal and one of the largest in the world and more positive cases are expected.

An investigation into the cause of the outbreak has been opened.


Bulgaria – Bird Flu

A virulent bird flu virus has spread to two more regions in Bulgaria prompting veterinary authorities to announce a cull of nearly 8,000 ducks, the Balkan country’s food safety agency said on Sunday. “A total of four outbreaks of bird flu are registered in Bulgarian territory at the moment,” the agency said.


Madagascar – Plague

The number of plague cases have topped 1800 in Madagascar, including 1,111 pneumonic plague cases, according to new data released by WHO.

From 1 August to 30 October 2017, a total of 1,836 suspected cases of plague, including 133 deaths (case fatality rate 7%), were reported. Of these, 1,111 (62%) were clinically classified as pulmonary plague, 261 (15%) were bubonic plague, one was septicemic, and 428 were unspecified (further classification of cases is in process).

Since the beginning of the outbreak, 71 healthcare workers (with no deaths) have been affected.


Madagascar plague situation improving

While plague cases continue to be reported in Madagascar, health officials say the situation is improving as evidenced by 16 previously affected districts reported no new confirmed or probable cases of pulmonary plague during the past two weeks, which is creating some optimism.


Q Fever – Chile

Chilean authorities are seeking international advice after dozens of people in the southern part of the country contracted the infection, Q fever. Authorities report that the 43 patients are inhabitants of the region of Los Lagos and Los Ríos, in southern Chile, and twenty of them were hospitalized. It should be noted that the majority of the cases are workers in the dairy industry.

Q fever is caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen, Coxiella burnetii. The disease is usually transmitted to people through either infected milk or through aerosols. This disease is found on most continents with the reported incidence probably much lower than the actual because so many cases are so mild.