E Coli Outbreak in USA

An E. coli outbreak likely related to flour has sickened four people in Colorado and 38 nationally across 20 states, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

No deaths have been reported, although 10 people have been hospitalized.

An E. coli strain called STEC O121 has been identified in the infections. Investigation has pointed to flour produced at a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Mo., and the company issued a recall Tuesday for several sizes and varieties of Gold Medal Flour, Gold Medal Wondra Flour and Signature Kitchens Flour.

Ebola in Guinea Officially Over – WHO

The latest outbreak of Ebola in Guinea has ended, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, warning that a recurrence of the killer tropical disease remained a threat.

The last known Ebola patient in the west African country was discharged from hospital in April.

WHO declares the end to an outbreak, also known as the end to viral transmission, 42 days after the last known patient tests negative for the second time.

A handful of cases were registered in the last few months in Guinea, following the death of undiagnosed sufferers among a family near the border with Liberia.

In the three countries hit hardest by the Ebola crisis — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — fresh cases emerged after an outbreak was declared over.


Second New Ebola Case in Liberia

A second case of Ebola has been confirmed in Liberia, just months after the country had been declared free of the disease, according to health officials.

The 5-year-old son of a 30-year-old woman who died on Thursday has now been taken to a treatment centre in Monrovia.

Authorities are now checking everyone the woman was in contact with, and 10 healthcare workers from the hospital where the woman was treated are also under observation. The woman, who died on arrival at the hospital on Thursday, had travelled with three of her children.


Ebola – West Africa

West Africa’s Ebola outbreak no longer constitutes a threat to international public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, declaring an end to a nearly 20-month emergency that has killed about 11,300 people.

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, accepted the recommendations of a committee of independent experts who also called for lifting any travel and trade restrictions affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“The Committee provided its view that Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitutes an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread is now low, and that countries currently have the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences,” the WHO said in a statement.

All original chains of virus transmission have ended, but a new chain in Guinea has infected eight people including seven who have died, it said, adding that the virus persists in the semen of some men for over a year.

Hepatitis A – Kenya

Twenty one people have been admitted to various hospitals in Mombasa over the past few days following a new outbreak of hepatitis A, county health officials have said.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infected person.

Mombasa Health executive Mohammed Abdi said the disease had been on the rise since January among school children and had escalated due to water contamination in the county.

Yellow Fever – China

On 13 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of China notified WHO of an imported case of yellow fever virus infection.

Zika virus infection – Dominica and Cuba

Between 15 and 16 March 2016, PAHO/WHO was notified of cases of Zika virus infection in Dominica and Cuba.

Microcephaly – Panama

On 18 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Panama notified PAHO/WHO of a newborn with concomitant microcephaly, occipital encephalocele and Zika virus infection.

Guillain-Barré syndrome – Panama

On 15 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Panama informed PAHO/WHO of a case of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) with concomitant Zika virus infection.

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

On 18 March 2016, the Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region notified WHO of a confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.


Ebola – Guinea

A fifth person has died in Guinea Ebola flare up and is causing panic. The man might have been in contact with the first victim, officials say. The small West African country is in an alarmed state as hundreds more may be infected with the deadly disease. The Ebola virus, though carried by mosquitoes, can be transferred through human contact. The bodies are often washed before their burial, without any sanitary precautions, and might be the cause of the current Guinea Ebola flare up.

Zika Virus – USA

A woman who is pregnant is the third Kentucky resident who has tested positive for Zika virus disease after traveling to an affected area where the virus is circulating, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reporting.

The patient is from the Louisville area. She experienced Zika-related symptoms after traveling to Central America in recent months and has recovered from the illness.


More Ebola Deaths in Guinea.

A fourth person has died of Ebola in the ebola treatment centre in Nzerekore in Guinea in the latest flare up of the disease.

WHO has warned that Ebola could resurface at any time, since it can linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of some survivors.

It was not immediately clear how the villagers from Korokpara, around 100km from Nzerekore, had contracted the disease but the area had previously resisted efforts to fight the illness in the initial epidemic.


New Ebola Cases in Guinea

Two people tested positive for Ebola in Guinea on Thursday and have been taken to a treatment centre, according to the nation’s government.

The news comes after the deadly two-year outbreak in West Africa had been officially declared over. The two people infected with the virus are from the village of Korokpara, where three members of one family died in recent weeks from diarrhoea and vomiting, Reuters reported, citing a government agency spokesman.


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

Between 9 and 10 March 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 7 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 2 deaths.

Zika Virus – Cape Verde

Cape Verde has identified its first case of the neurological disorder microcephaly, thought to be linked to the Zika virus, in what would be a first for Africa.

The Cape Verde government says more than 7,000 cases of Zika have been recorded since the beginning of the epidemic in October 2015, with heavier than normal rains last summer boosting mosquito numbers.

Sierra Leone Ebola flare-up over for now

A recent flare-up of Ebola in Sierra Leone is over after no new transmissions of the disease were detected in the West African country, although the virus could resurface at any time, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

Sierra Leone has had no new cases of the virus for 42 days, the WHO said, twice the length of the virus’s incubation period – the time that elapses between transmission of the disease and the appearance of symptoms.

Monkey Fever Outbreak near Goa, India

At least 20 persons are suspected to have been infected by monkey fever in four villages nestled in forest areas of the Western Ghats under Kankumbi Primary Health Centre jurisdiction in Khanapur taluk adjoining Goa.

The affected people were daily-wage labourers frequenting to Goa for livelihood, said District Health Officer Appasaheb Naratti. Preliminary investigations indicated that they were infected during their stay in Goa, where the ‘Kyasanur Forest Disease’ (a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia), commonly known as monkey fever has griped villages of Sattari taluk situated on the State’s eastern side adjoining Khanapur taluk.


Ebola – West Africa

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is not over quite yet — just one day after the region was declared “Ebola-free,” a new case of the virus was confirmed in Sierra Leone. WHO had said such flare-ups were to be expected.

Zika virus infection – France – Overseas Departments

On 21 December 2015, WHO received notification of the first 2 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in two overseas departments of France: Remire-Montjoly, French Guiana and Schœlcher, Martinique. Since then, 2 additional cases have been reported in Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana and in Fort de France, Martinique.

Foot and Mouth Disease in Malawi

Malawi Government has suspended all livestock sales in Nsanje district following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the district.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development through its secretary Bright Kumwembe says there is an outbreak of the disease in cattle at Bangula dip tank and Magoli Extension Planning Area (EPA) in the district which is within the Shire Valley ADD.

Preliminary investigation conducted by veterinary field staff from the Shire Valley ADD and Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development indicates a total number of 60 critical cases out of a total of 581 cattle in 4 kraals.

The ministry further said a total of 65,000 cattle are at risk within the affected area and investigations are ongoing to establish the extent of the problem.


Ebola Outbreak Declared Over in West Africa

West Africa is now free of Ebola, marking an end to the devastating epidemic that plagued the region for two years.

The three hardest-hit countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — have not had any new Ebola cases for at least 42 days, according to a statement from the World Health Organization released today (Jan. 14). Health officials typically wait 42 days to declare a country Ebola-free, because this is twice as long as the 21-day incubation period of the virus (the time it takes for a person infected with the virus to show symptoms).

Liberia was the most recent of the three countries to be declared Ebola-free — today marks 42 days since the last person to have Ebola there was cured of the disease, according to WHO. Liberia was previously declared Ebola-free twice during 2015, but each time the country subsequently experienced small “flare-ups” of the disease. Sierra Leone’s Ebola outbreak was declared over in early November 2015, and Guinea was declared free of Ebola in late December.

However, officials warn that new cases of Ebola could still appear in the region, and that efforts are needed to prevent and respond to any new outbreaks.


Guinea Declared Ebola Free

Guinea, one of the countries hit by the worst outbreak of Ebola, has been declared free of any cases of the deadly virus.

Because Guinea hasn’t seen any new infections for 42 days, the amount of time in two incubation cycles for the disease, the WHO declared it free of Ebola on Tuesday. The last known patient in Guinea was a 3-week-old girl who tested negative for the virus twice in November.

State Has First Instance of Dual Mosquito-Disease Outbreak

The Arizona state health department says it found more than 100 people contracted both West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis Virus this year.

The discovery marks the first time the two diseases have been found together. Both are spread to humans by mosquitoes who have fed on infected birds. In both cases, people infected may not know they have contracted the illnesses. When they do make their presence known, both appear as flu-like symptoms, but can cause serious deteriorating cognitive function, though this can be temporary.

The co-outbreaks were between May and October, prime mosquito season.The health department says this discovery is another reason people should protect against mosquito bites year-round.


New Ebola Case in Liberia

The death of a 15-year-old boy from Ebola in Liberia — a country that has been declared free of the disease twice — raises the question of why cases are still popping up in the country, experts say.

The teenager, who died Tuesday (Nov. 24), tested positive for the disease last week. His brother and father are also infected, and more than 150 people with whom the boy may have come into contact are now being monitored.

Liberia was first declared Ebola-free in May, but then a new case was confirmed in July. The country was declared Ebola-free for the second time in September.

In order for a country to be declared Ebola-free, health officials typically wait 42 days since the last person was cured of the disease.

The handling of this most recent case may already have put many others at risk.


Microcephaly – Brazil

In October 2015, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Brazil notified PAHO/WHO of an unusual increase in the number of cases of microcephaly among newborns in the state of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil.

As of 17 November, a total of 399 cases of microcephaly were being investigated in seven states in the northeast of Brazil. Most of the cases were registered in Pernambuco state (268). Other states that reported microcephaly cases are Sergipe (44), Rio Grande do Norte (39), Paraiba (21), Piaui (10), Ceara (9) and Bahia (8).

Mosquitos Spreading New Invasive Disease in Americas (Zika Virus)

A mosquito-borne disease once limited to Africa and Asia is spreading across parts of South America.

Zika joins dengue and chikungunya as invasive diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

It threatens public health and tourism from the Caribbean to South America. Zika first appeared in Brazil last April, with local authorities linking it to foreign visitors attending the FIFA World Cup competition.

Six cases of the disease have now been confirmed in neighboring Suriname.

Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, eyeball pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

The illness typically lasts between four and seven days.

Ebola Returns to Liberia

Two months after Liberia was declared free of Ebola, three confirmed cases of the deadly disease have emerged in the West African nation.

Thee nation’s health ministry said a new case was confirmed Thursday, when blood samples from a patient admitted in a hospital the same week tested positive.

Two other high- risk contacts also tested positive, and all three are undergoing care at an Ebola treatment centre in the capital of Monrovia, the health ministry said in a statement.


Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola

Sierra Leone has officially been declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Freetown, at the stroke of midnight – marking 42 days without a single declared case of the disease. There were further cheers when the WHO local representative made the official announcement later on Saturday.

The outbreak killed almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone over the past 18 months.


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

Between 17 and 24 October 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 12 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Guinea records new cases of Ebola

Three more people in Guinea have been infected with the Ebola virus, a senior health official said on Wednesday, further dampening hopes of an imminent end to the world’s worst recorded outbreak of the disease.

The three were infected in Forecariah in western Guinea from the family of a woman who died of Ebola and whose body was handled without appropriate protection.

In all, nine sick people are being treated at centres throughout the country and most are connected to the dead woman.

Zimbabwe runs out of money to contain outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease

Zimbabwe has run out of money to vaccinate millions of domestic animals to curb the spread of Foot and Mouth and protect against Newcastle Disease, acting Agriculture Secretary John Gondo said.

“We are in the process of vaccinating over 1.5 million cattle and 8 million chickens for FMD and Newcastle Disease, but the challenge is that there’s no money to buy more vaccine from Botswana”.

South Africa, which borders an affected area, has raised pressure on Zimbabwe to prevent further transmission of the disease, which could have an impact on beef exports.