Disease

Viral Oceans

A four-year study has found that nearly 200,000 marine virus species live in the world’s oceans — far more than the 12,000 species that had earlier been cataloged.

A team that took samples of ocean water from around the world and at varying depths found that communities of the viruses live in five distinct zones.

They also found a great diversity of the viruses in the Arctic, which is in contrast to larger organisms, whose diversity is concentrated near the equator.

Bird Flu – Nepal

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of the Nepal Ministry of Health and Population confirmed Thursday the first human fatality due to H5N1 avian influenza infection.

Advertisements

Disease

Bird Flu – China

Officials with the National Health Commission in China have reported the first human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) this year in Gansu.

Cholera – Yemen

Cholera is surging once again in Yemen, with the U.N. reporting that the number of suspected cases has doubled in March over previous months and doctors in overwhelmed health facilities fearing it could rival a 2017 outbreak that spiraled into the world’s worst flare-up.

The surge underscores how Yemen, which has endured multiple outbreaks of cholera amid four years of civil war, still isn’t able to stop its spread.

There were 76,152 new suspected cases and 195 deaths in March, compared to about 32,000 cases in February and 39,000 in January. The March toll brought the number of those believed to have died from cholera this year to nearly 300.

Monkeypox – Africa – Update

In a follow-up on the monkeypox situation in Africa in 2018, several countries are still reporting cases in 2019 according to World Health Organization numbers:

Central African Republic

Three cases, including one confirmed, were reported in Ippy in the week ending 3 March 2019.

Since 2 October 2018, clusters of cases have been identified across three health districts, namely; Mbaiki district with nine cases including eight confirmed, Bangassou district with five cases including three confirmed, and Bossembele district with four cases including three confirmed. One death was reported in Bossembele.

In total, 34 cases have been reported, including two deaths.

Republic of Congo

The Republic of Congo is reporting cases of monkey pox since February 2019. Two samples from Makontipoko village in Gambona district tested in the INRB-Kinshasa turned positive for Monkey pox (PCR OPX).

Nine total cases have been reported with no fatalities.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the week ending 3 March 2019, 90 new suspected cases including two deaths were reported. The cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the Provincial Health Divisions of Ecuador, North Ubangi and South Ubangi.

824 total cases have been reported, including 12 deaths.

Nigeria

In January 2019, six new suspected cases were reported from six states. Three were confirmed in two states (Rivers – 1 and Bayelsa – 2). Since September 2017, 26 states have reported suspected cases with 17 having reported a confirmed case. Rivers State is the most affected. The South-South region of the country has the highest burden of monkeypox.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, 311 cases (132 confirmed) and seven fatalities have been recorded.

Wildlife

Penguin Fatalities

Namibia’s first bird flu outbreak on record has killed more than 500 endangered African penguins at one colony near Lüderitz, and scientists fear the pathogen could spread to other colonies or even other species.

The Lüderitz Maritime Research Group noted on social media that most of the fatalities, which began to emerge in mid-December, were near a muddy patch adjoining the colony.

Because the H5N8 strain of avian influenza can survive for weeks in a wet environment, officials dispatched crews to spread buckets of salt over the mud in an attempt to curb infections. Penguin carcasses are being collected and burned. It is unknown how the virus arrived in Namibia.

Disease

Cholera – Niger

The cholera outbreak in Niger that started in early July has now topped 2,000 cases, according to the World Health Organization. Since the beginning of the outbreak on 5 July 2018, a total of 2,013 suspected cholera cases, including 37 deaths (case fatality ratio 1.8%), have been reported.

Rabies – Myanmar

Officials at Yangon General Hospital in Myanmar reported at least 18 human deaths due to rabies during the first eight months of the year, according to a Myanmar Times report today. This total is only for those treated at the Yangon hospital and does not include numbers from other hospitals across the country.

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

Since March 2013, when the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infection was first detected in humans, a total of 1567 laboratory-confirmed human cases, including at least 615 deaths1, have been reported to WHO in accordance with the International Health Regulations. In the latest wave (the 6th wave since Oct 2017), only three human cases have been detected; meanwhile there have been generally fewer A(H7N9) virus detections in poultry and environment samples, according to various reports from mainland China and China, Hong Kong SAR.

Disease

China: Human H5N6 avian influenza

The China National Health Commission reported an additional human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Guangxi today. The patient had contact with live poultry before the onset of the disease.

Animal anthrax outbreak in the Hautes-Alpes, France

The deadliest anthrax outbreak in the past two decades is sweeping through the French countryside, leaving dozens of dead cows, sheep and horses in its wake, according to news reports.

Anthrax is a serious infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, and 28 farms in the Hautes-Alps region in the southeastern part of France have been affected since the outbreak was first detected two months ago. The first known case was identified on June 28 in the village of Montgardin, where it eventually killed six cows. Since then, 50 animals have died, but no cases in humans have yet emerged.

Disease

Japanese encephalitis – Taiwan

In a follow-up on the Japanese encephalitis situation in Taiwan, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced 7 new Japanese encephalitis cases confirmed in Taiwan last week bringing the total to 12.

Bird Flu – China

Coined ‘Disease X’, a new strain of bird flu – H7N9 – has sparked fears of a major outbreak among scientists, having already infected more than 1600 people. Symptoms of infection include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and organ failure. The virus has already killed 623 people within China.

At this time, the H7N9 can’t be spread between humans – and can only be contracted from contact with birds. However, experts suspect as few as three mutations could result in a human-to-human contagion – and potentially a worldwide pandemic.

Disease

Lassa Fever – Nigeria – Update

The current Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has spread to 20 states leaving 142 dead and 400 confirmed cases.This is compared to the figures released on March 25, 2018, which showed 134 deaths and 394 confirmed cases in 19 states meaning there are eight more deaths, six more confirmed cases and the virus has spread to a new state – Abia.

Bird Flu – Bulgaria

Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA) on Thursday reported a second outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu within a month. The virus was confirmed on Wednesday in a duck-breeding farm in the village of Zimnitsa, some 300 km east of Sofia. All measures have been taken immediately to eradicate the outbreak. In particular, the 6,000 ducks in the farm would be culled, the statement said.

Disease

Bulgaria – Bird Flu

Bulgaria has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus on a farm in the northeastern district of Dobrich, the national food safety agency said today. The virus, found on a farm in the town of General Toshevo, located near the border with Romania, would lead to the death of 140,000 birds, the agency said.

Wildlife

African penguins succumb to avian flu in the Cape

African penguins have succumbed to the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu along the coastline of the Western Cape.

The department of agriculture confirmed on Monday that seven cases from six different sites across the province had tested positive in penguins. Of the seven cases‚ one has survived.

Infected birds are being treated‚ as African penguins are an endangered species. Treatment protocols are similar to those for flu in humans. They include nutrition‚ hydration‚ vitamins and administration of anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics for secondary infections‚ if necessary.

Unnamed

Disease

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.

Disease

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

On 2 January 2018, the National IHR Focal Point of Malaysia reported one case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Bird Flu – Japan

Japanese authorities on Friday announced the culling of about 91,000 chickens on a farm in southwest Japan where several animals were found to be infected with a highly pathogenic form of the bird flu virus. The new outbreak has been detected on a farm in Kagawa prefecture of Shikoku Island after it was found that more than 50 dead chickens this week were infected with the highly contagious H5 strain of the virus. The culling began shortly before midnight on Thursday and will conclude in about 24 hours and the movement of eggs and animals within a radius of 10 km of the farm has been suspended while the area has been cleaned with disinfectants.

Disease

H5N6 avian influenza confirmed in Fujian province, China

For the first time since last November, Chinese health authorities are reporting a human case of avian influenza A(H5N6). The patient was a three-year-old girl from Sanming City, Fujian province who had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms.

Disease

Bird Flu – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has confirmed an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu in Riyadh that led to the culling of nearly 16,000 ducks.

The highly pathogenic H5N8 strain infected and killed 14 birds at an unspecified location in the Saudi capital, says the World organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which is based in Paris. Other birds in a flock of around 60,000 exposed to the virus were culled.

Bird flu strains have hit poultry flocks in a number of countries across the world in recent years, with some types of the disease also causing human infections and deaths.

Disease

H1N1 influenza – Ghana

In late November, an outbreak of influenza A H1N1 was reported Kumasi Academy Senior High School in Kumasi City, Ashanti Region in central Ghana. At that time, 13 cases of severe acute respiratory illness was reported.

Since that time, the Ghana Ministry of Health has reported 77 cases with four deaths (case fatality rate 5.2%). The majority of the cases, 66%, were males and over 95% of the cases are teenagers. Thus far, the disease is still localized in the school as no cases have been reported among community members.

Cholera – Kenya

From 1 January though 29 November 2017, a total of 3967 laboratory-confirmed and probable cases including 76 deaths (case fatality rate = 1.9%) were reported by the Ministry of Health to WHO.

Cholera – Zambia

On 6 October 2017, the Minister of Health declared an outbreak of cholera in the Zambian capital, Lusaka. From 28 September through 7 December 2017, 547 cases including 15 deaths (case fatality rate = 1.8%), have been reported since the beginning of the outbreak. The initial outbreak period was from 28 September through 20 October. From 21 October through 4 November 2017 there were less than five cases reported each week. However, from 5 November 2017 an increase in the number of cases was observed with a total of 136 cases reported in the week beginning 26 November.

Disease

Bird Flu – China

For the first time in several months, Chinese health authorities are reporting a human case of avian influenza A(H7N9). The case is from Yunnan province.

Plague – Peru

Officials in La Libertad, Peru are carrying out a fumigation campaign in the District Municipality of Chocope, Ascope province after the presence of the agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, was confirmed in fleas found on sewer rodents.

Authorities have embarked on a fumigation campaign in the affected area. Killing the rats was not the answer, what is infected is the flea, not the rodent. If they kill the rodent, the flea will jump and possibly infect other animals.