Saudi Arabia – MERS

The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO-EMRO) issued their Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) situation update for January 2018, which reveals 25 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS, including 8 associated deaths in the Kingdom.



Cholera – Mozambique

On 27 October 2017, the Ministry of Health in Mozambique notified WHO of an outbreak of cholera. From 14 August 2017 through 11 February 2018, 1799 cases and one death (case fatality rate = 0.06%) of cholera were reported from the two provinces; Nampula (1580 cases) and Cabo Delgado (219 cases). Underreporting of the number of cases and deaths is likely.

Fiji: Dengue Fever

Fiji health officials have declared a dengue fever outbreak in the subdivisions of Nadi and Ba in the Western Division, according to local media reports. A total of 312 confirmed cases have been recorded and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services says the confirmed cases continue to rise.


Malawi – Cholera

Cholera cases in Malawi have tripled and four more people have died, the Ministry of Health said on Monday, a month after the spread of the disease from Zambia was thought to have been contained.

Ministry of Health spokesman Joshua Malango said the number of cases had increased to 527 from 157 recorded in January, and that deaths had doubled from four to eight. He said new cases continued to emerge in Central and Northern Malawi districts, including the administrative capital, Lilongwe where 10 new cases were recorded at the weekend.

Australia – acute post streptococcal glomerulonephritis

WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Kimberley public health staff are advising Kimberley communities that there is currently an outbreak of Acute Post Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis (APSGN) in the Kimberley region primarily affecting Aboriginal children aged between two and 13 years. Younger children, adolescents and adults can also be affected.

APSGN is a kidney disease that can develop after certain skin and throat infections. You cannot give APSGN to other people, however, the bacteria that cause the skin infections and sore throats can be passed from person to person.

Michigan, USA – hepatitis A

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported last week they continue to see an elevated number of hepatitis A cases in the state.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2016 through February 14, 751 cases, including 609 hospitalizations have been reported. This includes 25 fatalities.

Hong Kong – Parrot fever

Hong Kong health officials have reported investigating two linked cases of psittacosis, or parrot fever, a bird-borne disease. Preliminary investigation revealed that the pair had no recent travel history. However, they reported having visited the Bird Garden in Yuen Po Street, Mong Kok, twice last month and had purchased a parrot from a bird shop there.


Rabies – Democratic Republic of the Congo

An outbreak of rabies has killed at least 11 displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and African media reports that thousands are at risk. Dogs are the main source of the rabies in the conflict-torn North Kivu Province where a lack of capacity to respond to the disease has been noted.

Novovirus – Olympics

In a follow-up on the norovirus outbreak at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Korean health officials now put the number of confirmed cases at 261, as of Friday, with 111 cases reported from the Horeb Youth Centre, 74 from PyeongChang and 76 from Gangneung. Forty-four of the cases remain under quarantine, according to officials. The Swiss Olympic team reports that two of its athletes have been affected.


Lassa fever – Nigeria – Update

In a follow-up on the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, nineteen new confirmed cases were recorded from seven States– Edo (3), Ondo (7), Bauchi (2), Nasarawa(1), Ebonyi(2) Kogi(2) and Taraba(2) with six new deaths in confirmed cases from four states Ondo (2), Edo(1), Bauchi (2), and Nasarawa (1).

Yellow fever – Brazil Update

According to the Ministry of Health today, from July 1, 2017 to February 15 of this year, 409 cases of yellow fever were confirmed in the country, 183 in São Paulo, 157 in Minas Gerais, 68 in Rio de Janeiro and 1 in the Federal District. There were also 118 deaths throughout the country.


China reports 1st known human H7N4 avian influenza case

The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) reported confirming a human case of avian influenza A (H7N4). According to the NHFPC, this is the first case of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N4) in the world.

The patient had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms. Upon analysis, the genes of the virus were determined to be of avian origin.


Syphilis – Argentina

Cases of the sexually transmitted infection, syphilis, has tripled between 2011 and 2017 in Argentina, according to data from the Ministry of Health. In 2011, Argentina saw 3,875 syphilis cases and six years later in 2017, the country reported 11,709, mostly in young adults.


Anthrax: Turkey

A suspected anthrax outbreak in the Black Sea coast city of Trabzon, in northeastern Turkey has affected 73 people, killing one. An anthrax-tainted cow was butchered in the city’s Akçabat district and the meat was distributed to neighbours.

Diarrhoea in Kolkata, India

As many as 650 people in six municipal wards in Kolkata were suffering from diarrhoea caused by an alleged contamination of drinking water and 28 of them were admitted in a city hospital since Saturday night, an official said on Sunday. Kolkata Municipal Corporation collected samples from different places to detect the cause of the outbreak.


Guinea – Lassa Fever

The Guinea Ministry of Health reported Wednesday the first Lassa fever case/death in a resident in more than two decades.

Influenza – USA

A special education teacher in Texas is reportedly on life support after contracting both strains of influenza, as the worst flu season in years engulfs the United States.

The nationwide flu outbreak is shaping up to be the worst on record, and federal health officials say they can’t predict when the deadly epidemic will end.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a grim report on Friday, revealing that at least 63 children have died from influenza for the 2017-2018 season so far. Ten of them died in the past week alone.


Hepatitis E – Namibia

The capital city of Windhoek is on high alert after an outbreak of Hepatitis E that has claimed three lives, while 554 people are undergoing treatment. Namibia has been battling Hepatitis E since mid-December 2017, after the first cases were detected in an informal settlement of Windhoek. The number has since been rising steadily.


Viral Winds

Scientists have for the first time determined that astounding numbers of viruses are being swept up from the Earth’s surface and blown around the world in the planet’s atmospheric circulation.

Researchers from Spain, Canada and the United States believe there are at least 800 million viruses per square meter from just above the surface to the stratosphere.

The global winds are spreading them, as well as bacteria, for thousands of miles, possibly from one continent to another.

The scientists say the bacteria and viruses become airborne after winds pick them up in dust and sea spray.

South Sudan declares end to cholera outbreak

A cholera outbreak was declared in South Sudan in June 2016 and resulted in 20,000 suspected cases and 436 deaths through Dec. 2017–the longest and largest cholera outbreak the country has seen. After not reporting any cholera cases in more than seven weeks, South Sudan declared the end of the outbreak this week.

Listeriosis: South Africa

The listeriosis outbreak in South Africa, of which the source still remains elusive, grew by 32 cases since last reported one week ago – the total is now 852 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases through Feb. 5 with 107 deaths.


South Korea – Outbreak of Norovirus at the Winter Olympics

An outbreak of norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness, affected at least 41 Olympic security guards who were taken to the hospital after suffering from vomiting and diarrhea on Sunday. To keep the disease from spreading, 1,200 security guards were pulled from their jobs and replaced with 900 members of the South Korean military who will conduct security checks and searches until the sick guards are better.

The guards who got sick were all staying in the same building together and buses and accommodations are being disinfected to try to prevent the spread of the disease.


Measles – Ukraine

In a follow-up to a report on the measles outbreak in Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (computer translated) puts the outbreak case tally at 3,554 in January– 1,165 adults and 2,389 children. The majority of cases were registered in Ivano-Frankivsk (804), Odesa (640), Zakarpattia (549), Chernivtsi (444) and Lviv (242) regions.

India – Monkey Fever

At least 19 people have died from an outbreak of ‘monkey fever’ in India, according to local reports. Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD), spread by ticks, has struck down 322 people since the killer outbreak was confirmed. Victims often report a fever or severe bleeding, but it can lead to tremors, mental disturbances.


Switzerland reports swine influenza A(H1N1)v case

A 48-year-old Swiss male farm worker tested positive for swine influenza A(H1N1)v virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

Lassa Fever – Nigeria

For the first 28 days of 2018, Nigeria has reported a total of 297 suspected cases and 22 deaths (case fatality rate 7.4%). Cases have been reported from 13 active states (Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau, and Taraba). Ten healthcare workers have been affected in four of the states.

Lassa Fever – Benin

In a follow-up on the Lassa fever outbreak in Benin, health officials put the outbreak case tally at 21, plus eight deaths since Jan. 8.


Kazakhstan: Hepatitis A

A hepatitis A outbreak has been recorded in the Karaganda region of central Kazakhstan. According to the chairman of the Public Health Protection Committee of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 51 cases of hepatitis A have been registered.