Dengue Fever – Reunion – Update
French health officials are reporting 368 additional dengue fever cases during the most recent week, bringing the outbreak total on the island of Reunion to 4292 laboratory confirmed or probable cases since the beginning of the year. Eighty-two people required hospitalization and 10 people were diagnosed with severe dengue.
Dengue Fever – Thailand – Update
In an update on the dengue fever situation in Thailand, the Bureau of Epidemiology, MoPH, Thailand is reporting (computer translated) a total of 14,973 cases from 77 provinces through June 4. This is an increase in about 4,500 cases in the past two weeks. In addition, four more dengue-related deaths have been reported bringing the total to 19.
Measles – Ukraine – Update
According to the operational data of the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, in the 22nd week of 2018, 1132 people (463 adults and 669 children) suffered from measles. This brings the cumulative number of measles cases this year to 19,249 with 40% being adults.
Venezuela – Multiple Outbreaks
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning on May 15, 2018 that nonessential travel to Venezuela should be avoided. Venezuela’s health care system has been crumbling as a result of a nationwide socioeconomic and political crisis that began in 2012. As a result, several large outbreaks of infectious disease have been occurring in the South American country, including measles, diphtheria and malaria. At the same time, overall infrastructure has collapsed, with shortages of food, water, electricity, medicine and medical supplies.
As of 2016, Latin America was declared free of measles. Despite this, in the past year, there have been over 1,000 cases of measles reported, and over 50 deaths in Venezuela.
Venezuela had not seen a case of diphtheria for a period of 24 years. However, since 2016, there have been more than 1,602 suspected cases of diphtheria, with 142 deaths and a 14.5% case fatality rate.
Malaria has also been on the rise in Venezuela, making it the country with the highest percentage of malaria cases in the world. There are currently 10 times as many cases of malaria in Venezuela as there were in 2010, with approximately 406,000 cases reported in the past year.
Virus on Wings
The virus responsible for outbreaks of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever on the Arabian Peninsula and in Egypt may now be airborne in ticks hitching rides northward on migratory birds, researchers warn.
With symptoms similar to those from Ebola, the Alkhurma virus seems to be spread to humans through contact with cattle and camels, or from tick bites. It was first identified in Saudi Arabia during the mid-1990s.
Examination of thousands of ticks removed from migrating birds at several Mediterranean sites found some with Alkhurma virus RNA.
Researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University warn this means the virus could now fly on to infect people and animals in other areas.