Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever death reported in Namibia

A farmworker from the Omaheke region on the eastern border of Namibia has died from Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), according to Namibia health officials. According to a report in The Namibian, The unidentified man died on Feb. 22 after being admitted to the Gobabis District Hospital when he vomited blood. He was treated for fever, diarrhoea, and coughing a few days earlier.

Chikungunya in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has reported cases of chikungunya in the country for the first time. A total of 803 cases have been reported since 19 December 2016 in the Sindh province, including 29 cases reported in various towns in Karachi during the week of 10-16 February 2017.

New cholera cases in Haiti

Haiti has reported 1,897 cholera cases through January, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). 28 deaths were reported during this period. Since the cholera outbreak began in October 2010, months after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, 797,691 cholera cases have been reported in Haiti, including 9,439 deaths.


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.


Chikungunya in Karachi, Pakistan

A mosquito-borne disease has reared its head in Karachi, affecting hundreds of people in the Malir, Saudabad and Shah Faisal neighbourhoods of the city. World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s Chikungunya virus that can become epidemic in the country. More than a thousand cases have been reported in an area that normally sees 30 to 40 cases a year.

Bird Flu Spreads to England

The Department of Agriculture is advising poultry farmers to be vigilant after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in a turkey flock in England.

An outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 (bird flu) has been confirmed in a turkey flock near the coast in Lincolnshire, England. The H5N8 subtype of avian influenza has been responsible for a number of outbreaks of disease in both wild birds and poultry in several European countries since the end of October this year, the Department explained in a statement.


Brazil – Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika Virus

The Brazil Ministry of Health reports (computer translated) 855 cities, or approximately 37 percent, are in a situation of alert and risk of outbreak of the mosquito borne viral diseases, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, according to the Fast Index Survey for Aedes aegypti (LIRAa) of 2016 released by the Health Minister, Ricardo Barros yesterday.

Brazil health officials have reported 251,051 suspected cases of chikungunya fever, of which 134,910 were confirmed. In the same period last year, there were 26,763 suspected cases and 8,528 confirmed cases. Chikungunya related deaths stand at 138, according to health officials.

There were 208,867 probable cases of Zika fever nationwide by October 22, representing an incidence rate of 102.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The autochthonous, or local transmission of the virus in the country was confirmed as of April 2015, with laboratory confirmation in Bahia. The Ministry of Health has made notification of Zika cases in February this year compulsory. The Southeast Region had 83,884 probable cases of the disease, followed by the Northeast (75,762); Midwest (30,969); North (12,200) and South (1,052).

Health officials report 1,458,355 dengue cases through Oct. 22. This is a decrease of 5.5% from the 2015 total during the same period in 2015 (1,543,000). Considering the regions of the country, the Southeast and Northeast present the highest number of cases, with 848,587 cases and 322,067 cases, respectively. Next are the Midwest (177,644), South (72,114) and North (37,943).


Chikungunya in Rajasthan, India.

Rajasthan has witnessed worst outbreak of chikungunya in past nine years as 1,686 cases have already been reported from the state this year. The cases are continuously being reported in Jaipur as 36 more persons were tested positive for the diseases.

Rajasthan is in the league of the states which have highest number of chikungunya cases. The worst-affected states are Karnataka (11,951), Delhi (10,851), Maharashtra (4,799), Haryana (2,399), Punjab (2,098) and Rajasthan has reported 1,686 cases this year till October 30.

However, health department has blamed excessive and prolonged rains this year as a cause of spread of chikungunya this year.


Chikungunya in Delhi, India – Update

During the past week, Delhi saw nearly 1600 additional chikungunya cases, a 43 percent increase over the prior week. The total cases in India’s capital is now at 5,293 cases. At least 15 fatalities lined to chikungunya have also been reported. That said, health officials say the worst of the mosquito borne outbreak is over.

India reports first ciguatera poisoning outbreak

For the first time on the Indian subcontinent, an outbreak of ciguatera was reported in Mangaluru, where more than 100 people were sickened Saturday after consuming fish heads.

Biologists in India warn that the risk of additional outbreaks stems from a number of factors such as climate change, ocean acidification resulting in coral reef deterioration, nutrient run-off resulting in toxic algal blooms.

More than 400 species of fish, including barracuda, black grouper, blackfin snapper, cubera snapper, dog snapper, greater amberjack, hogfish, horse-eye jack, king mackerel, and yellowfin grouper have been implicated in this food borne illness that’s relatively common in several areas of the world to the tune of 50,000 cases annually.

This toxin is the result of the accumulation of marine algae and the toxins they produce passing up the food chain. These marine algae hang on to dead coral and seaweed. They are then eaten by herbivore fish which are subsequently eaten by predatory reef fish which concentrates the toxin in its tissue. People get this food borne toxin from eating these contaminated larger fish. The reef fishes are more likely to get contaminated during storms and other turbulence.

After eating the affected fish (the fish does not get sick from the toxin and actually tastes good) in as little as a couple of hours symptoms may appear.Gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting tend to appear early. Then a feeling of weakness and hypertension may occur in addition to complaints of intense itching. Some mild to severe neurological symptoms are common with ciguatera; dizziness, impaired coordination, blurred vision and even coma may be seen in severe cases.

Florida, USA – Zika Virus

Florida agricultural officials announced Saturday a 6th Zika virus positive mosquito sample in Miami Beach. The positive sample was from a trap located at 575 W. 49th Street in Miami Beach.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has tested nearly 4,000 mosquito samples, consisting of nearly 64,000 mosquitoes, since May, and these six samples are the only ones to test positive.

Today, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reported nine additional non-travel related cases today in Miami-Dade County, six of which had exposure in Miami Beach. This brings the total Zika local transmission to 133, while the total cases in out-of-state residents contracted here is now 16.


Zika Virus – Puerto Rico

Upon recording an additional 2,391 locally acquired, or autochthonous Zika virus cases during the first week of September, the case count on the island has surpassed 20,000 cases (22,358), according to an update from Secretary of the Department of Health of Puerto Rico, Ana Ríus Armendariz.

Chkungunya – Philippines

The Provincial Health Office of Cavite in the Calabarzon region on Luzon island has declared an outbreak of the mosquito borne viral disease, chikungunya, after detecting 400 suspected cases, Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said Friday during a radio interview. The 400 cases have been reported since the beginning of the year.


Chikungunya and dengue in Delhi

While the mosquito borne virus, Zika, has captured the attention of most of the world as it spreads through the Americas and Southeast Asia, India is grappling with a different mosquito borne virus transmitted by the same mosquito vector, Aedes spp.

In India’s capital city, Delhi, with a population in the metro area of well over 20 million people, a virus first detected in Africa 65 years ago has grabbed the attention and fears of this group of people – chikungunya.

The city has reported in excess of 1,700 chikungunya cases, including 15 deaths in recent weeks (although one report says the Delhi government is denying the fatalities.

This does not include the 1,100 dengue fever cases and 18 deaths also being reported in the city, prompting the government to appeal to the public not to panic.

And this is just in Delhi. Across the country, these two virus are taking their toll in a number of regions.

Mumps: Arkansas and New York update

Through Aug. 13, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,786 mumps cases, the most reported in the US since 2010. Two states are being hit particularly hard by the contagious viral disease of recent–Arkansas and New York.

Zika Virus – France

While France has yet to report a Zika virus local transmission, the European country has reported almost 1,000 travel associated, or imported cases through Sep. 15 this year, according to Sante Publique France.

From Jan. to Sep. 15, 978 imported Zika virus cases have been reported. This includes 30 pregnant women and 5 cases of neurological complications.

In addition, France has seen 10 cases of confirmed sexually transmitted Zika virus this year.


Anthrax reported in Myanmar

At least seven people in Central Myanmar’s Sagaing Region are believed to have been infected with the bacterial disease, anthrax, after handling known diseased animals, according to a local media report. According to health officials, several unvaccinated cows died of the disease on Sep. 4 and were handled by the seven individuals.

Malaria in Venezuela

In 2015, Venezuela saw a record number of malaria cases with 136,402, the most reported in 75 years, since reliable records have been kept in the country. However, the situation is much worse in the South American country during the first 33 weeks of 2016.

The Sociedad Venezolana de Salud Pública Red Defendamos la Epidemiología, or the Venezuelan Society Epidemiology and Public Health reported today that through Aug. 20, Venezuela has seen 143,987 cases of malaria, representing an increase of 72.2% over the previous period in 2015 (83,623). Bolivar, the large state in eastern Venezuela, bordering Brazil and Guyana, still accounts for the majority of cases 114,963, or nearly eight out of 10 cases.

Of immediate concern is reports that indicate that the antimalarial drug, artemisinin, essential for the treatment of the most pathogenic strain of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, are running low in stock. In Bolivar, where the epidemic is most severe, drug stocks are depleted as are diagnostic supplies like Giemsa stain and immunological rapid tests.

Chikungunya and Dengue in India

The latest official data from India, published in a Times of India report, concerning the mosquito borne viral diseases, chikungunya and dengue, have been released and we find that through Aug. 2016, 12,255 cases of chikungunya and 27,879 dengue fever cases in India.

And this is only the beginning as health officials say cases are expected to rise sharply over the next 2 months.

In addition, sixty dengue related fatalities were reported.

One of the main issues in the battle against these vector borne viruses is 86 percent of Aedes mosquito breeding occur in households in various forms of water, according to a government assessment.


Hepatitis A outbreak grows in Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) reported an additional 33 hepatitis A cases in the past week, bringing the outbreak total to 168, prompting state health officials to enlist the help from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chikungunya in Kenya

On 28 May 2016, the Ministry of Health of Kenya notified WHO of an outbreak of Chikungunya in Mandera East sub-county. The first reports of an increase in cases with febrile illness and joint pains occurred in May 2016. Samples were collected and shipped to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Arboviral Laboratory in Nairobi. On 16 May, KEMRI laboratory confirmed 7 of the 10 samples tested positive for Chikungunya virus.

To date, KEMRI has received a total of 177 samples of suspected cases in the laboratory for testing. Of these, 53 of these came from Somalia and rest from Mandera. 57 were positive by IgM antibody testing and 38 were positive for CHIK virus by RT-PCR.

As of 30 June 2016, 1,792 cases had been line listed. No deaths have been reported so far. However there is a risk of underreporting of cases since many patients are not reporting to health facilities.


Mumps in Brazil

The outbreak of mumps in Brazil’s Federal District, which includes the Brazilian capital city, Brasília, has grown to nearly 1000 cases and has residents concerned as more cases are reported weekly.

Chikungunya in Brazil

While so much attention has been placed the Zika virus epidemic and to a lesser extent dengue fever in Brazil this year, another virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito is being reported at a nearly 10 times amount compared to the first five months of the year in 2015.

Through May, 122,762 chikungunya cases were reported across the country compared to 13,160 cases in 2015 and more than 23,000 cases reported for the entire year. In addition, the generally considered rarely fatal mosquito borne viral disease has resulted in 17 deaths to date, compared to six reported all of last year.


Syphilis – Queensland, Australia

Three Aboriginal children have died from congenital syphilis in Queensland’s worst outbreak in 30 years.

Since 2015, 167 new cases of congenital syphilis have been diagnosed in North Queensland, prompting Health Minister Cameron Dick to announce on Wednesday a five-year $15.7 million plan to tackle the sexually transmitted disease.

Congenital syphilis infects babies when a pregnant woman contracts the disease and passes it along to her child. It can be treated with penicillin if diagnosed early.

Chikungunya in Kenya

At least 540 people were on Wednesday admitted to various health facilities in Mandera County following an outbreak of Chikungunya fever, health officials said. Mandera Health chief officer Mariam Dubow said the number of patients is expected to go up as most schools were also affected.

The viral disease is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. The disease causes fever and severe joint pains as well as fatigue and muscle pain. Other symptoms include headache, nausea and skin rashes.

The disease, which rarely causes death, may also manifest severe complications in some patients. These include renal and respiratory failure, acute hepatitis and cardiovascular decomposition.


Chikungunya – Argentina

On 7 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Argentina notified PAHO/WHO of the first chikungunya outbreak in the country.

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

Between 26 February and 08 March 2016 the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 25 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection (MERS-CoV), including 4 fatal cases.

Meningitis in Myanmar

Health authorities are on high alert following a recent meningococcal meningitis outbreak that has claimed the lives of four children in Mandalay Region.

Two children in a serious condition are being treated for the bacterial infection at Mandalay General Hospital, while five more children are receiving treatment at Meiktila General Hospital. All are from villages in Tharsi township.

The cases were reported from March 5, when the first death was reported. Another child died on March 7, while two more passed away on March 9.

Meningococcal meningitis is transmitted person-to-person via mucous, particularly through coughing and sneezing, or sharing eating or drinking utensils.

The infection affects the lining around the brain and spinal cord. According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms are a stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia

Between 6 and 11 September 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 22 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Three (3) of these reported cases are associated with a MERS-CoV outbreak currently occurring in a hospital in Riyadh city. Five (5) of these reported cases are associated with another MERS-CoV outbreak occurring in a hospital in Madinah city.

Chikungunya – Spain (update)

On 3 August 2015, WHO was notified by the National IHR Focal Point for Spain of a case of chikungunya infection in the city of Gandia, Valencian Community. The patient, a 60-year-old man, had no history of travel outside the European Region.

Cholera in Nigerian Camp

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the outbreak of cholera in one of the internally displaced persons camp in Borno state.

The disease outbreak started in a camp in Sanda Kyarimi in Borno state. Nine people have been killed from the disease outbreak. A total of 96 others – already treated and mostly discharged – were affected.


Chikungunya – Senegal

On 9 September 2015, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (MOHSA) of Senegal notified WHO of active circulation of chikungunya virus in the region of Kédougou. The circulation began on 27 August 2015. Samples were collected from 14 suspected cases for laboratory-confirmation at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar. Ten (10) samples tested positive for chikungunya virus. As of 8 September 2015, ten (10) chikungunya confirmed cases were reported. The latest active circulation in the affected area was reported between 2009 and 2010.

Poliovirus in Ukraine and Mali

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently confirmed the occurrence of two vaccine-derived polio cases in Ukraine and one case in Mali. The vaccine-derived polio cases are the ones caused by a mutant from the original wild poliovirus.

Although the number of reported cases of polio has significantly reduced globally, WHO believes that the incidence of three newly reported cases in Mali and Ukraine suggest why no country can be complacent about it and that every child should be immunized against the disease. Ukraine, on the other hand, has very low rates of polio immunization.

Bubonic Plague Case in USA

A Michigan resident recently contracted Bubonic plague after a visit to Colorado, health authorities confirmed Monday. The case is the first reported this year in the state and the 14th diagnosis nationwide.

The life-threatening disease is not native to Michigan and occurs when a person is bitten by an infected flea or rodent with the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

Infected populations often live in Western, rural areas of the country. Bubonic plague cannot travel from person to person.