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.


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.


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.


Zika Virus Blocked

Researchers have begun releasing mosquitoes in parts of South America, Southeast Asia and Australia that carry bacteria proven to prevent the insects from spreading the Zika virus.

Recent studies found that the Wolbachia pipientis bacterium can completely block transmission of the virus to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the study found that the bacterium is self-sustaining and has remained in mosquito populations for more than six years after being released into the wild.

There are currently no approved Zika vaccines or antiviral medications to treat infections.

Meningitis in Los Angeles, California

The Centre for Disease Control is investigating an outbreak of 22 meningitis cases in the LA area amounts the gay community amidst pleas for a vaccination campaign.

Bilharzia Outbreak in Botswana

The first case (in the recent outbreak) of bilharzia was recorded on May 10 this year at Boikhutso Clinic near Francistown.

Out of 579 samples taken between May and June, 42 pupils tested positive for bilharzia and were accordingly treated.

The disease is not deadly but can be fatal in some instances if left untreated. It can also cause acute and chronic complications. Kidney and bladder complications as well as occasional liver diseases are among the main effects caused by bilharzia at its later stages.


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

On 10 May 2016, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 11 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 4 deaths.

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

Between 30 April and 5 May 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 4 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), including 1 fatal case.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Qatar

On 4 May 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Qatar notified WHO of 1 additional case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Africa meningitis: 13,000 cases, 1127 deaths through first 4 months

Meningitis epidemics in Africa are most prevalent in the “meningitis belt” that stretches across sub-Saharan Africa. About 26 countries and 450 million people live in this area.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Weekly Meningitis Bulletin for West Africa, through Apr. 30, a cumulative total of 13,423 suspected cases of meningitis have been notified with 1,127 deaths (CFR 8.4%).

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported the most cases and deaths with 3359 and 332, respectively. Nearly 10 percent of cases resulted in death.

Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Niger follow in order, each with more than 1000 cases year to date.


Cholera – United Republic of Tanzania

The National IHR Focal Point of the United Republic of Tanzania has provided WHO with an update on the ongoing outbreak of cholera.

As of 20 April 2016, a total of 24,108 cases, including 378 deaths, had been reported nationwide. The majority of these cases had been reported from 23 regions in mainland Tanzania (20,961 cases, including 329 deaths).

Yellow Fever – China

Between 4 and 12 April 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of China notified WHO of 2 additional imported cases of yellow fever (YF). To date, a total of 11 laboratory-confirmed YF cases imported from Angola have been reported in China.

Zika virus infection – Papua New Guinea

On 11 March 2016, the National Department of Health of Papua New Guinea reported that 6 cases of Zika virus infection had been confirmed through retrospective testing of samples taken from patients presenting with a febrile illness between July 2014 and March 2016.

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

Between 1 and 15 April 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 10 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 3 deaths.

Meningitis – Niger

An outbreak of meningitis epidemic in Niger has killed 76. At least 20 have died of the disease in the capital, Niamey.


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.


Meningitis in Ghana

Seven more Ghanaians have died from the deadly Meningitis disease, raising the death toll to 100 in nine out of 10 regions. Authorities earlier declared the outbreak in Brong Ahafo an epidemic and put the country’s health facilities on high alert.

More Zika through Sex Cases

U.S. health officials are investigating more than a dozen possible Zika infections that may have been spread through sex.

The 14 cases all involve men who visited areas with Zika outbreaks, and who may have infected their female sex partners, who had not traveled to those areas.

Zika virus is mainly spread by mosquito bites, and sexual transmission has been considered rare. There have been two reported cases, including a recent one in Texas, and at least two other reports of the Zika virus found in semen.

Nigeria – Mystery Diseaase

The mystery disease that was reported to have killed 20 children in Eti-Osa in Lagos State has now been identified as measles. Authorities blame poor sanitation in the slum areas where the disease manifested. No new cases have been reported.


Zika virus infection – United States of America – United States Virgin Islands

On 25 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the United States of America notified PAHO/WHO of the first laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in St. Croix, one of the three main islands in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus – Lao People’s Democratic Republic

On 17 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point (NFP) of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) notified WHO of 2 additional cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (VDPV1). Both cases are from Longsane district, Xaisomboun Province.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Thailand

On 24 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Thailand notified WHO of 1 laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. This is the country’s second case of MERS-CoV infection (see DON published on 10 July 2015).

Bird Flu in Nigeria

Avian Influenza, popularly referred to as bird flu, is now in 18 states in Nigeria and has affected over 2.5 million chickens and is spreading fast.

By the last count, as of yesterday (Thursday), not less than 2.5 million chickens have been infected and over 700 farms have been affected nationwide. From one incidence in one state and moving to two states, it has increased and by now it is in not less than 18 states – according to local health authorities.

Newcastle Disease in the Philippines

The confirmation of an outbreak of the contagious and fatal Newcastle disease (ND) virus in Tarlac has spurred the Department of Agriculture (DA) to urge poultry stakeholders and fighting cock aficionados not to transport their animals to other regions.

Meningitis Outbreak in Ghana

Health authorities in central Ghana have denied that there is a meningitis outbreak in the country’s Ashanti region.

The Ashanti regional health directorate claimed that they were only nine people who had tested positive after critical tests were done, according to Citi News.

Reports, however, indicate that at least 32 people have died in the west African country since the outbreak of the disease four weeks ago.

According to Ghana web, more than 100 cases of Pneumococcal Meningitis have been reported in the country’s southern region of Brong-Ahafo region.


Typhoid in Johannesburg, South Africa

The Gauteng Health Department has confirmed four cases of typhoid fever in Johannesburg, which has claimed the life of one person.

Two cases were identified at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, while the other two were picked up at Edenvale Hospital. A 27-year-old Malawian woman died last week Sunday. It’s understood she had travelled to her home country for the holiday period last month – and returned to South Africa through Mozambique.

Meningitis Outbreak in Ghana

Two people have died after being infected with Pneumococcal Meningitis in the Offinso Municipality of the Ashanti region.

A week after the disease killed nine people in the Brong Ahafo region, five others died in Bole in the Northern region.

About 22 people have been confirmed dead out of the 57 reported cases since the beginning of the outbreak of the disease in the Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Between 19 and 30 June 2015, the National IHR Focal Point for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of 6 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Between 1 and 3 July 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of the Republic of Korea notified WHO of 2 additional confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Meningococcal disease outbreak – Thailand.

An outbreak of meningococcal disease has killed one patient in Satun province, Thailand. 22 locals who recently developed a fever are being monitored by provincial health units for a period of 20 days. Health officials who came in contact with those under surveillance have also been given medication to curb the spread.


Meningitis in Niger – Update

The meningococcal disease outbreak in the Africa Meningitis Belt country of Niger has peaked, according to officials at the World Health Organization. To date, 8,234 people have contracted the serious bacterial disease with 545, or 6.6% of those infected losing their lives.

According to a Reuters report today, the spread of the disease peaked in the week to May 10, when there were 2,189 cases and 132 deaths. In the last week of the month there were 264 cases and 8 deaths.

Niger sits in what is called the “meningitis belt” that stretches across sub-Saharan Africa. PATH, the global health international nonprofit organization says about 450 million people are living in the “meningitis belt” are at risk of contracting meningococcus type A, the strain most commonly found in the region.


Rapidly growing outbreak of meningococcal disease in Niger

From 1 January to 12 May 2015, Niger’s Ministry of Public Health notified WHO of 6,179 suspected cases of meningococcal meningitis, including 423 deaths. This is a rapidly growing outbreak with some unprecedented features.

Suspected cases have been increasing very quickly, tripling over the last two weeks. This is the first large-scale meningitis outbreak caused by Neisseria meningitides serogroup C to hit any country in Africa’s meningitis belt.


Meningitis Outbreak in Niger

Between 1 January and 25 April 2015, the Ministry of Public Health of Niger notified WHO of 1543 suspected cases of meningococcal disease, including 147 deaths. Suspected cases have been reported in seven of Niger’s eight regions. Meningococcal meningitis outbreaks have been confirmed in several areas of Dosso and Niamey regions.

Disease outbreak looms high in Nepal

The risk of serious diseases including diarrhoea and skin allergies are looming high in earthquake-battered Nepal due to the countless animal corpses lying out in the open.

The lack of proper food, unhygienic surroundings and the lack of specialised doctors to treat the patients have accelerated the problems.


Meningitis Outbreak in Niger

The government said Friday that since January the epidemic has killed 129 people out of 1,150 cases as of Wednesday. Just three days earlier on Sunday officials reported 85 deaths and 908 cases.

A couple dozen victims had died of the disease by the end of March, but in April the number of infections accelerated into an epidemic.

Several strains of the infection, which can be highly contagious, have been circulating in the landlocked nation of nearly 18 million in west Africa.

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, is prone to such epidemics because of its position in the “meningitis belt” that stretches from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meningitis is an inflammation of membranes protecting the spinal cord and the brain, and the first symptoms include stiffness and severe headaches.