Africa – Meningitis

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa recently reported updated meningitis numbers for the countries of the African Meningitis Belt and surrounding areas. For the first three months of 2018, 7,403 suspect and confirmed cases were reported, including 566 deaths for a case fatality rate of 7.6 percent.

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Typhoid – Pakistan

The first known epidemic of extensively drug-resistant typhoid is spreading through Pakistan, infecting at least 850 people in 14 districts since 2016, according to the National Institute of Health Islamabad.

The typhoid strain, resistant to five types of antibiotics, is expected to disseminate globally, replacing weaker strains where they are endemic. Experts have identified only one remaining oral antibiotic — azithromycin — to combat it; one more genetic mutation could make typhoid untreatable in some areas.

Prior to this outbreak, only four isolated cases of extensively drug-resistant, or XDR, typhoid had previously been reported worldwide.



Meningitis – Sudan

An outbreak of meningitis has left more than 30 people dead in the war-torn South Sudan. More than 170 cases of the disease have been reported in the eastern Equatoria State’s Torit, Iyire and Imurok regions.


Nigeria: After six months, meningitis outbreak over

The meningococcal meningitis C outbreak in Nigeria that began in mid-December 2016 in Zamfara State has been declared over, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Friday. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) responding to the epidemic has stepped down as the outbreak has been in constant decline for eight weeks.


Romania – Meningitis

A suspected meningitis outbreak in Braşov, Romania has resulted in 18 hospital admissions and one death. The patients, classmates with a 17-year-old student from Tarlungeni commune who died recently after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, have symptoms resembling meningitis.


Nigeria: Meningitis

Since the last report on May 22, nearly two weeks ago, Nigerian health officials have reported an additional 468 meningococcal meningitis cases, including 44 deaths.

Colombia: Leishmaniasis Outbreak

The ESE Regional Norte de Salud de Tibú in North Santander, Catatumbo, Colombia is reporting an outbreak of the parasitic infection, leishmaniasis, according to a RCN Radio report. Health officials say at least ten of those affected are Venezuelan nationals. Indigenous and peasant communities in remote areas of Catatumbo are the most affected, due to the lack of knowledge of the disease and the lack of medical care to control and care for these people.


Nigeria: Meningitis

In an update on the Nigeria meningitis outbreak that began in mid-December 2016, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 14,005 suspected cases from 24 states through May 2017. The death toll has risen 1,114.

Niger: Meningitis

Since the beginning of the year through May 7, Niger has reported 3,037 meningococcal meningitis cases, including 179 fatalities. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has deployed several emergency teams in Niger in order to contain the meningitis C outbreak that has been affecting many regions of the country since March. More than 358,800 people have been vaccinated.


Italy – Measles Outbreak Update

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Italy, health officials have reported 1603 measles cases since the beginning of the year through Apr. 16, according to the Ministero della Salute today.

Nigeria – Meningitis Outbreak Update

The meningococcal meningitis numbers keep piling up in parts of Nigeria as officials now put the case count at 8,057 suspected cases and 745 deaths as of Monday, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).


Meningitis C outbreak in Nigeria – Update

As of April 5, Nigerian health officials have reported a total of 3,959 meningococcal meningitis cases (181 confirmed) with 438 deaths, including two in the largest city, Lagos.| This is up from 2,997 cases with 336 deaths on Apr. 3.

Tibet – Bird Flu

The first human H7N9 avian influenza case has been confirmed in the Tibet Autonomous Region, according to an official statement.


Nigeria meningitis outbreak update

In a follow-up on the meningitis outbreak in Nigeria that began in Zamfara state in December 2016, as of Apr. 3, a total of 2,997 meningococcal meningitis cases with 336 deaths have been reported with 146 of cases being laboratory confirmed, according to The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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

On 31 March 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) notified WHO of 17 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China.


Portugal reports hepatitis A outbreak

Earlier this month, European health officials reported on a several hepatitis A outbreaks linked to adult men who have sex with men (MSM). One of the 13 countries affected is Portugal, where since January, 105 hepatitis A cases were reported, according to Portuguese media.

Nigeria: Meningitis outbreak grows

According to Nigerian health officials, the meningococcal meningitis outbreak in the country has now claimed 328 lives to date, mostly affecting states in the part of Nigeria which fall within the African Meningitis Belt. Reports of vaccine shortages from affected areas have also been received.

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Italy measles outbreak

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Italy this year, the number of cases reported to date in 2017 already surpasses the total number reported in the country in all of 2016. 1,010 individuals contracted the disease in the country this year, while in all of 2016 there were 844 infections.

The massive increase in measles has been blamed on the growing number of people who do not believe in vaccination.

Of this total, 90% of the patients were not vaccinated. The balance still indicates that 57% of cases occurred in the age range between 15 and 39 years, while 6% reached babies under one year, that is, when the vaccine can not yet be administered.


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.