Chikungunya Outbreak in the Philippines

Health officials M’lang, North Cotabato on the southern island of Mindanao have declared a chikungunya outbreak after some 50 people contracted the mosquito borne viral disease in the past week.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in Vietnam

After reporting about 50,000 hand, foot and mouth disease cases in 2016, Vietnamese health officials with the General Department of Preventive Medicine are warning the public to take protective measures as more than 2100 cases have been seen in 57 localities so far in 2017.

More Bird Flu Cases in China

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (February 16) received notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that 61 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including seven deaths, were recorded from February 6 to 12.

New Antibiotic Discovered

A new antibiotic, produced by bacteria found on a species of African ant, found in Kenya is very potent against antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ like MRSA according to scientists. Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the John Innes Centre (JIC) discovered a new member of the Streptomyces bacteria family, isolated from the African fungus-growing plant-ant Tetraponera penzigi.


Dengue Fever in Cape Verde

For the first time in ten years, the islands of Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde off the coast of western Africa have reported two dozen confirmed dengue fever cases, according to an Observador report.

Cameroon confirms H5N8 bird flu in the north

Cameroon has confirmed a case of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus in the northern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday, citing a report from the Cameroonian livestock ministry.

The virus was found early January in exotic peacocks, in village chickens and in ducks, the ministry said.


Africa yellow fever outbreak declared over

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared the end of the yellow fever outbreak in that country today following a similar announcement in Angola on 23 December 2016, bringing an end to the outbreak in both countries after no new confirmed cases were reported from both countries for the past six months.

Cholera in Somalia

The Somalia Ministry of Health reported 913 new suspected cases of cholera, including 10 deaths and a case–fatality rate of 1.1% during the past week. This brings the total since the beginning of the year to 4026 cumulative suspected cases of cholera including 57 deaths (case–fatality rate 1.5%).

China – Bird Flu

Two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported on Mainland China.


Bolivia – Yellow Fever

The Bolivia Ministry of Health has confirmed yellow fever in a 27-year-old male Danish tourist who likely contracted the mosquito borne virus while visiting the jungle, according to a Terra report. This is the first confirmed case in the country in ten years.

Saudi Arabia: MERS case reported in Mecca

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health reported an additional infection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from a patient in Mecca. The 60-year-old male expatriate is reportedly hospitalized in critical condition. The probable source of the infection is noted as direct contact with camels.

Bird flu hits poultry markets in major Chinese city

Authorities in China’s third-largest city warned that about 30 percent of its live poultry markets were contaminated with the H7N9 avian flu virus, as an eastern province ordered markets to shut, state media reported on Saturday.

East China’s Zhejiang province has ordered all markets across the province to halt live poultry trade on Saturday over bird flu concerns

In January, Zhejiang reported 35 infections of the H7N9 strain of bird flu, according to the provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.

Earlier on Saturday, China Daily said the disease control authority in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, urged residents to avoid contact with live poultry after tests in the past week.


Hong Kong hepatitis A – update:

In a follow-up on the outbreak of hepatitis A cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-positive) in Hong Kong, The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) reports that retrospective investigations into previously reported cases further identified 11 hepatitis A cases among MSM from September 2015 to 2017 as of February 3, bringing the total to 24 cases affecting MSM aged from 22 to 51, with 20 who were known to be positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

China reports dozens of additional H7N9 bird flu cases

The National Health and Family Planning Commission in China announced that 45 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) were recorded from January 30 to February 5. The 31 male and 14 female patients aged from 27 to 83 had their onset from January 16 to February 1.

Chad – Hepatitis E Outbreak

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported Wednesday that hepatitis E outbreak is escalating across Am Timan, in the Salamat region of South-Eastern Chad and more help is needed.

MSF identified the first hepatitis E cases five months ago and has treated 885 patients with Acute Jaundice Symptoms (AJS), with numbers increasing to an average of around 60 new cases a week. AJS, which commonly causes the yellowing of the skin and eyes, can indicate if a person has hepatitis E. Since September, 70 patients have confirmed cases of hepatitis E (HEV RDT+), 64 have been hospitalized, and 11 have died, including four pregnant women.

Foot and Mouth Disease in South Korea

The South Korean government has placed the country on highest alert as a second strain of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed three days after a first outbreak was reported, officials said Thursday.

The A-type strain of foot-and-mouth disease was discovered at a Yeoncheon dairy farm, some 50 miles north of the capital Seoul, where at least 10 cows were found to have contracted the strain, according to food industry policy deputy minister Kim Kyeong-kyu.

After the O-type of the strain was detected southeast of the country, the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs ministry raised the country’s alert status one level to the maximum. The ministry has since then issued a travel ban for all livestock in South Korea, while ordering tougher quarantine and sterilization protocols


China reports H7N9 avian flu case in Henan Province

The Health and Family Planning Commission of Henan Province reported an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in a 38-year-old man from Kaifeng who is in critical condition.

Hong Kong health officials who are closely monitoring the situation said, “Since late 2016, the number of human H7N9 cases reported in the Mainland hugely increased from six in November 2016 to 106 in December 2016 and 183 last month as of January 29, 2017. The number of cases in this wave so far has been much higher than that in the same period last winter. Cases imported from Guangdong have also been reported in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Since the first human cases were reported in 2013, there has been 1107 cases as of Feb. 6.


China reports more H7N9 avian flu cases

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today closely monitoring four additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

Dengue Fever in Malaysia – Update

After reporting more than 100,000 dengue fever cases in 2016, Malaysia’s dengue fever case count continues into 2017. For the first month of 2017, the Malaysia Ministry of Health has reported 8,033 dengue cases through the end of January. Like most months and years, Selangor state accounts for more than half the cases.


H5N8 avian influenza in Europe: 24 countries report bird flu since June

Since June 2016, at least 24 countries in the WHO European Region have reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N8) virus in wild birds and domestic poultry. At least 3 of these countries have reported outbreaks in the last 2 weeks. Outbreaks have also been reported in countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

This has prompted WHO to call for heightened vigilance and strengthened surveillance efforts to prevent and detect potential human cases of avian influenza as it continues to spread in birds across Europe.

This is the second time that this virus has caused outbreaks in Europe with the autumn migration of wild birds. The virus was first detected in birds in Asia in 2014, where it has continued to circulate. In June 2016 the virus was detected in waterbirds in the southern part of the Russian Federation, and by September 2016 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations had issued an alert for countries along the West Eurasian and Afro-Eurasian migration routes to watch for this virus.

Like other HPAI viruses, A(H5N8) can cause severe disease in birds, especially chickens. No human cases of avian influenza A(H5N8) have been reported to date. However, because similar influenza subtypes have caused human disease in the past, the possibility of transmission cannot be excluded.

Yellow Fever Spreading – Brazil

On 24 January 2017, Brazil’s International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point (NFP) provided the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) with an update on the yellow fever situation. The geographical distribution of confirmed yellow fever human cases is expanding and includes, in addition to Minas Gerais State, the States of Espírito Santo and São Paulo. In addition, Bahia State reported 6 yellow fever human cases under investigation. The Brazil Health Ministry is now reporting suspected yellow fever cases in the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul as well.


Bird Flu – China

With the addition of 84 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) announced by the National Health and Family Planning Commission in China, the number of total human cases has topped 1,000 since first reported in 2013. On Friday, Chinese officials reported 84 additional human cases, including seven deaths, from January 1 to 15.


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.


Human infection with avian influenza virus – Uganda

According to a news report by TV Uganda, 20 people from the various islands across the country are feared to have caught bird flu according to ministry of health spokesperson Vivian Nakalika. Surveillance has been stepped up and blood samples have been taken from the suspected victims to further the investigations.

Yellow Fever – Brazil – Update

In a follow-up on the yellow fever outbreak in Brazil, through the first 18 days of 2017, 206 suspected and probable cases of yellow fever were reported, including 53 deaths in Minas Gerais state, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). This is up from 110 cases and 30 deaths reported one week ago.

Seoul Virus – USA

A virus rarely seen in the United States recently infected eight people in Wisconsin and Illinois who were working in facilities where pet rats are bred, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Authorities first became aware of the infections when two people in Wisconsin who operated a rat-breeding facility fell ill in December 2016, with one going to the hospital. Both breeders tested positive for Seoul virus, which is part of the Hantavirus family, a group of viruses that typically infect rodents, the CDC said.

Health officials then discovered that the Wisconsin breeders had purchased rats from two rat-breeding facilities in Illinois, and tests showed that six people who worked at the Illinois facilities were infected with the same virus.


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

On 11 January 2017, the Department of Health, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) notified WHO of a laboratory-confirmed human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus affecting a 10-year-old boy and on 12 January 2017, the Health Bureau, China, Macao SAR notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus affecting a 72-year old female.

Bird Flu – Uganda

There has been an outbreak of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in wild and domestic birds in Uganda. Reports of a mass death of wild birds seen by fishermen at Lutembe beach at the shores of Lake Victoria near Entebbe. Another report was also received on 13th January 2017 from Masaka district. This is the first bird flu outbreak in Uganda.

Kenyan and Rwandan authorities said Wednesday they had banned poultry products from neighbouring Uganda, where a virulent H5 strain of avian flu has broken out.


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

Between 16 and 31 December 2016 the National IHR Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported fifteen (15) additional cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) including two (2) fatal cases. Five (5) deaths among previously reported MERS cases were also reported.

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

On 5 January 2017, the Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) notified WHO of a case of laboratory-confirmed human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus and on 9 January 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of 106 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Lassa Fever – Nigeria

Lassa fever is back and spreading fast in Nigeria. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday, January 16, raised concerns over the increasing cases of Lassa fever and urged increased focus on prevention and preparedness. According to Premium Times, a statement issued by Lawal Bakare, the technical assistant communication of NCDC in Lagos said that seven states reported at least one case of Lassa fever in December 2016. In a fresh report, in Nasarawa, four people have lost their lives to the deadly virus, while several people have been infected. Bakare said that 19 confirmed cases and six deaths had been reported by seven states so far.


Bird Flu – Nigeria

A new strain of Avian Influenza virus, popularly known as bird flu, has entered Nigeria and spread to 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory, with over 3.5 million birds affected, the Federal Government has said. The new strain (H5N8) is believed to be very pathogenic and more devastating to poultry species and, therefore, it may further add to the burden of the already existing H5N1 strain that is currently circulating in the country.

According to the government, in a bid to prevent the entry of the disease into their respective countries, Nigeria’s neighbours have proposed a ban on poultry and poultry products from Nigeria.


H7N9 avian influenza: China

The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission released data today that shows 83 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including 25 deaths, were recorded in December 2016. The 54 male and 29 female patients aged from 23 to 91 from Jiangsu (52 cases), Zhejiang (21 cases), Anhui (nine cases) and Fujian (one case).

Malaria – Venezuela

In 2016, the number of malaria cases in Venezuela ended up being around 200,000, the most seen in the South American country since 1971, according to a Efecto Cocuyo report.

Malaria was reported from 17 of the 23 states in Venezuela. In addition, a number of diphtheria cases were reported in six states in the country. Diphtheria was not seen in 24 years prior.

Australia – Melioidosis

Australian health officials reported a higher than usual number of cases of the bacterial disease, melioidosis, in Northern Territory during the last few months of 2016.

According to an Adelaide Now report, there has been 17 cases of melioidosis reported in the Northern Territory since October, including one fatality.

The increase has been blamed on the monsoon season and health officials warn the public about contact with mud, puddles and wind-blown soil during heavy rain.