Anthrax – Zambia – Update

In a follow-up to previous reports on an anthrax outbreak in Western Province, Zambia, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation report today that the human case total has risen to 67 since the outbreak began in Nov. 2016. In addition, it is reported that two people have died from the lethal bacterial disease.

Bird Flu – Europe – Update

Further reports of H5N8 avian flu outbreaks have been sent to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) from a number of European countries in the past week.

France detailed six new cases in wild birds in the past week, but also 34 separate outbreaks in poultry. Many of the poultry farm outbreaks were found through clinical symptoms, but others were detected as part of France’s prevention measures, which involves pre-emptive culling of birds in some regions. Overall, over 52000 birds were destroyed on farms and over 2000 died.

In Germany, five new outbreaks were announced affecting farms of turkeys, ducks or mixed poultry in Lower Saxony, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. A zoo in Saxony-Anhalt and a backyard holding in Bavaria were also affected. Over 68,000 birds were destroyed and 673 were killed in these outbreaks. Neighbouring Netherlands found large numbers of wild ducks with the disease in Utrecht.

Poland found two new outbreaks on farms and two in backyard holdings, in several different regions. Over 4000 birds died as a result of these outbreaks. In Ukraine, a farm in the Odessa region and a backyard holding in Chernovtsy suffered outbreaks, with over 10,000 birds killed.

Croatia reported new outbreaks of avian flu on a farm in Zagrebacka, where 40 birds died, as well as in a number of wild birds in other areas. Nearby Serbia reported one dead wild buzzard, while the Czech Republic reported several mute swans and one backyard holding in Jihočeský as affected by the disease. Slovakia found two new outbreaks in backyard holdings in Presov and Trnava as well as some affected wild birds. In Romania, several swans were found with the disease, and one backyard farm of 46 birds was also affected.

One new outbreak was reported last week by Greece, where avian flu hit caged layers in Peloponnisos region, with 28,000 birds destroyed.

Three farms were affected by avian flu in south-western parts of Russia, where 2530 birds died and over 219,000 were culled to prevent the disease from spreading. Two affected swans were also reported by Russia.



Siberian Anthrax Outbreak – Update

A 12-year-old boy is the first fatality in the anthrax outbreak that recently struck the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, Russia, according to a Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region government news release. The child died over the weekend from gastrointestinal anthrax, one of the three forms of the serious bacterial infection.

In addition, eight other people have been confirmed positive for the causative agent, Bacillus anthracis. In total, 72 people are now hospitalized at Salekhard hospital with confirmed or suspected anthrax

In addition to the human anthrax cases, the number of reindeer with suspected anthrax that died has nearly doubled to almost 2,400.

Zika Virus – Miami, Florida, USA

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued an unprecedented travel warning Monday, advising pregnant women and their partners not to travel to a small community just north of downtown Miami, where Zika is actively circulating.


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

Between 20 and 22 February 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death. Cases are listed by date of reporting, with the most recent case listed first.

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

On 23 February 2015, the Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China notified WHO of 1 additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Anthrax – Australia

A dairy cow has died of Anthrax on a farm in northern Victoria. The farm has been placed under quarantine.


Bird Flu

China – Five more H7N9 influenza infections have been confirmed in eastern China, all in older adults, while suspicions grow that wild birds may be the source and that the disease might be spreading to people through poultry environments.

China found new cases of bird flu in five live bird markets in the eastern past of the country. Chinese officials said the H7N9 avian influenza virus was found in three live bird markets in the province of Jiangsu, one in the province of Anhui and one in the province of Zhejiang, the report said.

Nine people have died out of 33 confirmed cases of the virus, all in eastern China,

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta Monday to support the response to the H7N9 influenza outbreak in China.

Cambodia – Cambodia is battling a new outbreak of bird flu which has killed eight people.

Anthrax – Ghana

Outbreak of Anthrax hits Bawku in northern Ghana.