Disease

Philippines: Rabies outbreak

Two people have died from rabies in the town of Cauayan, Negros Occidental province prompting the declaration of an outbreak. The victims, men in their 60s from different villages, died in the past week from rabies post-dog bites.

To make matters worse, the family of one of the victims killed the dog, cooked it and served it to at least 10 people. Some of the ten have received rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and the provincial veterinarian has launched a massive anti-rabies vaccination and information dissemination campaign.

Disease

Yellow fever – Suriname

On 9 March 2017, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands reported a case of yellow fever to WHO. The patient is a Dutch adult female traveller who visited Suriname from the middle of February until early March 2017. She was not vaccinated against yellow fever.

Meningitis – Nigeria – Update

Nearly 270 people, most of them children, have died in the past five months during the latest meningitis outbreak to hit Nigeria, public health officials said Wednesday. Presently there are 1,828 suspected cases with 269 deaths in about 15 states.

Disease

New cholera outbreak flares up in Malawi

Malawi health officials reported a new cholera outbreak in Nsanje district, located in the southern region of Malawi. The outbreak began on Mar. 11 and laboratory testing revealed that the agent was Vibrio cholerae Ogawa O1. As of 24 March 2017, a total of 14 cases with no deaths have been reported.

Lassa fever in West Africa: Outbreaks confirmed in 5 countries

Lassa fever outbreaks have been confirmed across five West African countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Burkina Faso.

Nigeria – In Nigeria, the index case emerged on 16 December 2016 in Ogun state. Since then, the outbreak has remained active. During the week ending 19 March 2017), 15 suspected cases were reported, with two testing positive for Lassa fever. Between 16 December 2016 and 19 March 2017, a total of 283 suspected cases including 56 deaths (case fatality rate of 19.8%) have been reported. Of the suspected cases, 99 were confirmed by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lassa laboratory in Nigeria. The cases have been distributed across 13 states: Ogun, Bauchi, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Nasarawa, Rivers, Kaduna, Gombe, Cross-River and Borno.

Benin – The outbreak of Lassa fever in Benin started on 12 February 2017 from Tchaourou district, Borgou province, close to the border with Nigeria. It was established that this case had epidemiological link with the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria. On 23 February 2017, another suspected case from L’Atacora province was reported. Samples obtained from the two cases tested positive for Lassa fever in the laboratory in Cotonou, Benin and in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lassa laboratory. Both cases died, giving a case fatality of 100%.

Togo – In Togo, Lassa fever was confirmed on 23 February 2017, with the case having established epidemiological linkage to Benin. A total of 12 suspected were subsequently reported, seven of them were confirmed at the Institut National d’Hygiène in Lomé, Togo. Four of the confirmed cases died, giving a case fatality rate of 57%. The cases originated from Oti and Kpendjal districts.

Burkina Faso – On 26 February 2017, the Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso notified WHO of a confirmed Lassa fever case admitted in a hospital in the northern part of Togo. The case originated from Ouargaye district, central eastern part of Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso has not had any other case.

Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone has been reporting sporadic suspected cases of Lassa fever since 28 December 2016. However, the outbreak situation escalated in the months of February and March 2017 when a cluster of 24 cases were reported and investigated. Out of these, four cases were laboratory confirmed and all of them died, thus giving case fatality rate of 100% among the confirmed. The outbreak has since subsided.

Measles in Damascus, Syria

A “major outbreak” of measles is hitting the encircled, rebel-controlled Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta, with doctors telling Syria Direct that vaccine shortages are to blame for more than 350 cases of the easily preventable disease in under two months. As a result, hundreds of East Ghouta children now suffer from dangerously high fevers, severe respiratory issues and, in at least two instances, death.

In patients with access to quality health care, measles can be managed. But for populations with malnutrition and inadequate health care, “mortality can be as high as 10 percent,” the France-based Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) reported earlier this month. Children affected by measles within East Ghouta face an added risk of serious health complications given the dire food and medical shortages resulting from the opposition-held area’s five-year encirclement.

Disease

Measles in Italy

The number of measles cases recorded in Italy since the beginning of this year has increased considerably, a phenomenon that worries health authorities because of parents’ resistance to the vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health, 700 cases were registered in the first three months of 2017.

India – Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur district. It is feared that all of the village’s 500 cattle may be affected.

Disease

Sri Lanka – Dengue fever

During the first three months of 2016, Sri Lanka reported less than 14,000 dengue fever case, and 2016 was one of the most active dengue years in a long time. According to the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Unit, as of Mar. 24, the island country has seen 24,562 cases, and there is a week to go.

Diseases such as dengue fever and even bird flu are spreading in Asia, and millions of poultry are being destroyed in South Korea today. The spread of diseases in Sri Lanka may be a part of a regional Asian health crisis – according to Sri Lankan Authorities.

Disease

Meningococcal disease – Nigeria

As of 19 March 2017 (epidemiological week 11), a total of 1407 suspected cases of meningitis and 211 deaths (case fatality rate: 15%) have been reported from 40 local government areas (LGAs) in five states of Nigeria since December 2016. Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto account for 89% of these cases. Twenty-six LGAs from all five states reported 361 cases in epidemiological week 11 alone. Twenty-two wards in 15 LGAs have crossed the epidemic threshold. Three of these LGAs share borders with Niger.

Disease

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

On 17 March 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of 22 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China.

Bird Flu in Japan

Authorities in Miyagi and Chiba prefectures began culling nearly 300,000 chickens Friday after the highly pathogenic H5 strain of bird flu was detected in dead chickens at local poultry farms.

In Japan’s latest bird flu outbreak, the Miyagi Prefectural Government plans to cull 220,000 chickens and bury them by early Monday, while the Chiba authority is in the midst of culling 68,000 chickens.

Disease

Meningitis in Niger

Sixteen people have lost their lives to cerebrospinal meningitis in Magama local government area of Niger state, state officials confirmed yesterday. The breakdown of mortalities showed that nine female and seven males died in the latest outbreak of the disease in Madakayi and Aungwan Tunga villages. 31 cases of meningitis were reported on March 6 across four local government areas, namely Magama, Kontagora, Rijau and Agwara, and that of the four, apart from being the only council with mortality, Magama has the highest cases of 23, followed by Rijau with 4; Kotagora 3 and Agwara 1.

Disease

Malaria in South Africa

In March 2017, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received official reports of possible locally-transmitted cases of malaria detected in non-endemic areas of Limpopo, North West, and Gauteng Provinces. Forty-nine cases were reported between the end of February through March 12, 2017 in Thabazimbi and Lephalele municipalities in the western Waterberg District of North West Province.

Yellow Fever – Brazil

As of 16 March 2017, yellow fever virus transmission continues to expand towards the Atlantic coast of Brazil in areas not previously deemed to be at risk for yellow fever transmission. Last week, the state of Rio de Janeiro reported its two first confirmed autochthonous yellow fever cases in the municipality of Casimiro de Abreu, located 135 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro. This has prompted the World Health Organization Secretariat to determine that the State of Rio de Janeiro, with the exception of the urban areas of Rio de Janeiro City and Niterói, should also be considered at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Disease

Anthrax – India

Odisha media reported Saturday that two people are dead and nine other are sickened due to anthrax in the Bisra block of Sundargarh district of Odisha in eastern India. The nine affected are currently being treated.

Anthrax in the Philippines

Health officials in Lagangilang, Abra province in the northern Philippines are reporting at least 15 suspected human anthrax cases, according to a GMA Network report.

Disease

Nigeria: Meningitis in Sokoto, Rabies in Lagos

Nigerian health officials report five deaths due to bacterial meningitis in Sokoto state, according to a Premium Times report. The five victims in Gada and Wauru towns of Gada Local Government area. In Lagos, two human rabies deaths have been reported at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Avian influenza update: China

The China National Health and Family Planning Commission reported 21 additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9), including four deaths, from March 10 to 16.

Mumps arrives in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reports that cases of mumps are beginning to appear in Louisiana. As of Wednesday, there have been 12 cases of mumps reported by the LDH Office of Public Health.

“There has been a large outbreak of mumps cases in Arkansas and we’re starting to see cases in Louisiana now,” said Dr. Frank Welch, medical director of the state Immunization Program, Louisiana Department of Health.

Disease

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

On 10 March 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of 26 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China.

Dengue in the Pacific

At least nine Pacific Island Nations today are experiencing dengue fever outbreaks, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The Solomon Islands has experience the highest number of cases, with more than 10,000 suspected infections since a dengue outbreak was declared in October 2016.

In Vanuatu, suspected dengue cases have risen to almost 2,000 since November 2016, impacting five of the countries six provinces.

In Fiji, the Red Cross has been disseminating information about dengue as part of its Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery work since May last year. There have been 155 confirmed cases of dengue so far in Fiji in 2017.

In American Samoa the government has declared a public health emergency after 30 suspected and 13 confirmed dengue cases. It is the first time the country has had a case of dengue serotype 2 since 1972.

In New Caledonia there have been 1,163 dengue cases and three people have died from the disease. Nauru has 50 suspected cases, and the virus has also been confirmed in Palau (51), French Polynesia (29) and Australia (202).

Disease

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

Between 24 February and 7 March 2017, a total of 58 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection have been reported to WHO from mainland China and China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Another outbreak of White Spot disease in Queensland, Australia

Queensland’s $360 million prawn industry has been dealt another blow with news the troublesome white spot virus has spread into Moreton Bay.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne says the virus that causes the disease has been detected near the Redcliffe Peninsula and Deception Bay.

Mr Byrne says the state government’s established a movement control order to prevent its spread, which will be in place for three months to allow further testing before determining future action.

Disease

Monkeypox outbreak in Republic of the Congo

An outbreak of monkeypox has affected 19 and killed seven people during the first two months of 2017 in Likouala province in northern Republic of the Congo, according to the Congo Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP). The outbreak originated in Betou district on 16 January 2017 when the index case, a male hunter, developed illness.

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Disease

Bird Flu – H5N8 strikes Nepal for first time; Vietnam reports H5N1, H5N6

Nepal’s livestock department recently reported the country’s first outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian flu, which stuck a commercial farm, as several countries in Europe reported more detections, including the already hard-hit southwestern section of France.

In related developments, Vietnam reported more outbreaks from two other highly pathogenic strains: H5N1 and H5N6.

Nepal’s H5N8 outbreak began on Mar 1 at a layer farm in Koshi zone in the southeastern part of the country, according a Mar 10 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The virus hit layers in two different sheds, one housing 40-week-old birds and the other containing 20-week-old poultry. Of 6,200 susceptible birds, the virus killed 3,650, and authorities culled the remaining ones to contain the spread of the disease. Rapid response teams also destroyed eggs, feed, egg trays, and some local hens. Surveillance has been stepped up in the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, Nepalese officials also reported another H5N1 outbreak, the third reported in recent weeks in Nepal. The latest outbreak occurred not far from the H5N8 outbreak in poultry. The event began on Mar 2 at a small zoo at a recreation park. The virus killed 6 of 14 whooper swans and 1 Asian openbill stork. Officials temporarily closed the park, as workers cleaned and disinfected the sheds and buried the dead birds.

Malaria declared an epidemic in Burundi

Burundi is suffering a worrying malaria epidemic, with more than 800 deaths since the beginning of the year. These figures are more than a quarter of the 3000 who died from malaria in 2016. Out of the 11 million total population, more than eight million cases of affected people were recorded in 2016.