Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 21 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces has recently shown an increase in the number of cases reported by week, after many weeks of overall decline (Figure 1). This rise is not unexpected and, in part, likely a result of the increased security challenges, including the recent direct attacks on treatment centers, and pockets of community mistrust, which slowed some response activities in affected areas for a few days.

Katwa, Butembo, Masereka and Mandima account for over 80% of all cases in the last 21 days. A total of 97 confirmed cases were reported during the last 21 days from 38 of the 130 health areas affected to date (Table 1, Figure 2). This week, EVD was confirmed in an infant who died in Bunia Health Zone, but whose parents are in good health. This is the first confirmed case from this health zone; a previous case was identified from neighbouring Rwampara Health Zone in early February. While investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection, teams in place have rapidly implemented response activities including contact tracing, vaccination and heightened surveillance. Given the geographical spread of the epidemic and the high mobility in this region, the risk of Ebola spreading to unaffected areas or being reintroduced to previously affected areas remains high.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 14 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT

The public health response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak continues to make gains. During the last 21 days (20 February – 12 March 2019), no new cases have been detected in 10 of the 20 health zones that have been affected during the outbreak (Figure 1). There has also been fewer new cases observed over the past five weeks compared to January 2019 and earlier in the outbreak (Figure 2).

Currently, the greatest concern centres on the neighbouring urban areas of Katwa and Butembo, which continue to contribute about three-quarters of recent cases. Clusters in other areas of North Kivu and Ituri provinces have been linked to chains of transmission in Katwa and Butembo, and have thus far been contained to limited local transmissions with relatively small numbers of cases. A total of 74 confirmed cases were reported during the last 21 days from 32 of the 125 health areas affected to date (Table 1). Risk of further chains of transmission and spread remain high, as highlighted by the recent spread to Lubero Health Zone, and reintroduction to Biena Health Zone following a prolonged period without new cases.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 07 Mar 2019 01:00:00 GMT

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while small clusters continue simultaneously in some geographically dispersed locations. During the last 21 days (13 February – 5 March 2019), 76 new confirmed and probable cases have been reported from 31 health areas within nine health zones (Figure 1), including: Katwa (44), Butembo (17), Mandima (6), Masereka (3), Kalunguta (2), Beni (1), Vuhovi (1), Kyondo (1), and Rwampara (1). The emerging cluster in Mandima health zone is occurring in a previously unaffected village, with five of the recent cases epidemiologically linked and the sixth case likely exposed in Butembo; nonetheless, there remains a high risk of further spread. Similarly, recent cases (two confirmed and one probable) in Masereka stem from a Butembo chain of transmission. These events highlight the importance for response teams to remain active across all areas, including those with lower case incidence, to rapidly detect new cases and prevent onward transmission.

As of 5 March, 907 EVD cases1 (841 confirmed and 66 probable) have been reported, of which 57% (514) were female and 30% (273) were children aged less than 18 years. Cumulatively, cases have been reported from 121 of 301 health areas across 19 health zones of the North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Overall, 569 deaths (case fatality ratio: 63%) have been reported, and 304 patients have been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs). Although declining trends in case incidence are currently being observed, the high proportion of community deaths reported among confirmed cases, relatively low proportion of new cases who were known contacts under surveillance, persistent delays in detection and isolation in ETCs (related as well to recent violent incidents), and challenges in the timely reporting and response to probable cases, all increase the likelihood of further chains of transmission in affected communities and continued spread.

Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection – Mexico - Tue, 05 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT

On 12 February 2019, the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) received a report regarding surgical site infections caused by antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa after invasive procedures performed in Tijuana, Mexico.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman - Mon, 04 Mar 2019 01:00:00 GMT

Between 12 and 18 February 2019, the National IHR Focal Point of Oman reported eight additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Four cases were reported from South Sharquia governorate, and four cases were reported from North Batinah governorate where a MERS-CoV cluster was recently identified. Details of the additional eight cases can be found in the attached excel sheet.

Since 27 January 2019, a total of 13 MERS cases were reported from Oman, including nine from North Batinah (five cases were previously reported in the Disease outbreak News 11 February 2019) and four from South Sharquia.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 28 Feb 2019 01:00:00 GMT

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while simultaneously, small clusters continue to occur in various geographically dispersed locations. During the last 21 days (6 – 26 February 2019), 77 new cases have been reported from 33 health areas within nine health zones (Figure 1), including: Katwa (45), Butembo (19), Vuhovi (4), Kyondo (3), Kalunguta (2), Oicha (1), Beni (1), Mandima (1), and Rwampara (1).

Although there are decreasing trends in case incidence (Figure 2), the high proportion of community deaths reported among confirmed cases and relatively low number of new cases who were known contacts under surveillance could increase the risk of further chains of transmission in affected communities. Response teams must maintain a high degree of vigilance across all areas with declining case incidence and contact tracing activity, as well as in areas with active cases, to rapidly detect new cases and prevent onward transmission. Following attacks this week on the treatment centres in Katwa and Butembo, WHO is working with partners to ensure the safety of the patients and staff. These incidents are disruptive to the response on many levels and can also hamper surveillance activities in the field.

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 – Indonesia - Wed, 27 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT

On 12 February, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) has been confirmed in Papua province, Indonesia. Two genetically-linked VDPV1 viruses were isolated from a child with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) with onset of paralysis on 27 November 2018 and in a healthy community contact, a child whose stool sample was collected on 24 January 2019. The location of this healthy child, with the VDPV isolation, is in a remote village, approximately 3–4 km away from the AFP case with onset of paralysis on 27 November 2018. Even though this province shares a border with Papua New Guinea, this outbreak is not linked to the cVDPV1 outbreak currently affecting its neighbouring country.

WHO and partners are supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) and local public health authorities in conducting a field investigation, a thorough risk assessment and planning an outbreak response. The exact extent and timing of the outbreak response is being finalized. Initial outbreak response immunization (ORI) has been conducted in Yahukimo district and 5718 children under 15 years of age have been immunized with bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV). Disease surveillance, including conducting retrospective and active searches for additional acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases, has been further strengthened in community health centres, hospitals and other health facilities including all districts and cities in Papua province. Surveillance has also been strengthened at entry and exit ports and monitoring notification and reporting through the Early Warning, Alert, and Response System (EWARS) has been reinforced. Other provinces have been alerted to improve immunization and AFP surveillance.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Tue, 26 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT

On 6 February 2019, the National IHR Focal Point of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia notified WHO of an ongoing outbreak of MERS-CoV infection in Wadi Aldwasir city and one of its hospitals (referred to as Hospital A). Between 29 January and 13 February 2019, 39 cases of MERS-CoV infection, including four deaths, were reported. At the time of writing, this outbreak remains ongoing. Human-to-human transmission has occurred between the index patient and health care workers, patients in the emergency department and intensive care unit (ICU) of Hospital A, and from patients to household contacts. As of 13 February, nine health care workers have been infected. Descriptions of the outbreak are based on information WHO has received as of 13 February 2019; further updates will be provided as they become available.

Details regarding each of the cases are provided in the file linked below.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 21 Feb 2019 01:00:00 GMT

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while simultaneously, small clusters continue to occur in various geographically dispersed locations. During the last 21 days (30 January – 19 February 2019), 79 new cases have been reported from 40 health areas within 12 health zones (Figure 1), including: Katwa (46), Butembo (15), Kyondo (4), Vuhovi (4), Kalunguta (2), Oicha (2), Biena (1), Mabalako (1), Manguredjipa (1), Masereka (1), Mutwanga (1), and Rwampara (1).1

No new cases have been reported from the Beni in the last three weeks. This is a significant achievement given the previous intensity of the outbreak in this area. Elsewhere, trends in the case incidence (Figure 2) have been encouraging; however, other indicators (such as the continued high proportion of community deaths, persistent delays in case detection, documented local travel amongst many cases, and relatively low numbers of cases among contacts under surveillance) suggest a high risk of further chains of transmission in affected communities. Response teams must maintain a high degree of vigilance across all areas with declining case and contact tracing activity, as with areas with active cases, to rapidly detect new cases and prevent onward transmission.

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 – Papua New Guinea - Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT

On 26 June 2018, an outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) was declared in Papua New Guinea following laboratory confirmation of cVDPV1 isolation in two healthy community contacts of the index case. Since the declaration, a total of 26 confirmed cVDPV1 cases have been reported in the following nine provinces: Eastern Highlands (six), Enga (five), East Sepik (four), Madang (three), Morobe (three), Jiwaka (two), Gulf (one), Southern Highlands (one), and National Capital District (NCD) (one). The last laboratory-confirmed case reported having experienced the onset of paralysis in late October 2018. Environmental surveillance continues on a bimonthly basis in Port Moresby and Lae to complement active acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case search efforts.

To date, there have been five rounds of Supplementary Immunisation Activities (SIA) conducted from July to December 2018. Consultants from WHO and UNICEF have been deployed to provide technical support during pre-campaign preparations and implementation to ensure high quality SIAs and improve AFP case detection. The first round of SIA targeted children under five years of age in three high-risk provinces. The second round included children under five years of age in all nine provinces. The third and fourth rounds of SIA included National Immunisation Days (NIDs) which were aimed at children less than 15 years of age and achieved a coverage of 93% and 97% respectively. The fifth round of SIA was a sub-national campaign conducted in four priority provinces (NCD, Central, Enga, and Angoram district in East Sepik province). Planning is currently ongoing for additional NIDs in 2019.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - Fri, 15 Feb 2019 00:07:00 GMT

From 1 January through 31 January 2019, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported fourteen additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including three deaths.

Lassa Fever – Nigeria - Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:01:00 GMT

From 1 January through 10 February 2019, 327 cases of Lassa fever (324 confirmed cases and three probable cases) with 72 deaths (case fatality ratio = 22%) have been reported across 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory, with the majority of cases being reported from Edo (108) and Ondo (103) States.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT

Despite slightly fewer cases reported during the past week (Figure 1), current epidemiological indicators highlight that the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is continuing with moderate intensity. Katwa and Butembo remain the major health zones of concern, while simultaneously, small clusters continue to occur in various geographically dispersed regions. During the last 21 days (23 January – 12 February 2019), 97 new cases have been reported from 13 health zones (Figure 2), including: Katwa (59), Butembo (12), Beni (7), Kyondo (4), Oicha (4), Vuhovi (3), Biena (2), Kalunguta (2), Komanda (1), Manguredjipa (1), Mabalako (1), Masereka (1), and Mutwanga (1).1 The recent case reported in the Komanda health zone was a resident of Katwa who was exposed to the virus, and subsequently travelled to both Bunia and Komanda. This case comes one month after the last reported case in Ituri Province; underscoring the high risks of reintroduction to previously affected areas, as well as the potential for spread to new ones.

As of 12 February, 823 EVD cases2 (762 confirmed and 61 probable) have been reported, including 517 deaths (overall case fatality ratio: 63%). Cumulatively, cases have been reported from 118 of 287 health areas across 18 health zones, of which 37 health areas have reported a case in the last 21 days. Thus far, 283 people have been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) and enrolled in a dedicated monitoring and support programme. One new health worker infection was reported in Katwa. To date, a total of 68 health workers have been infected.

Yellow fever – Brazil - Mon, 11 Feb 2019 00:10:00 GMT

Brazil is currently in the seasonal period for yellow fever, which occurs from December through May. The expansion of the historical area of yellow fever transmission to areas in the south-east of the country in areas along the Atlantic coast previously considered risk-free led to two waves of transmission (Figure 1). One during the 2016–2017 seasonal period, with 778 human cases, including 262 deaths, and another during the 2017–2018 seasonal period, with 1376 human cases, including 483 deaths.

From December 2018 through January 2019, 361 confirmed human cases, including eight deaths, have been reported in 11 municipalities of two states of Brazil. In the southern part of São Paulo state, seven municipalities:El dorado (16 cases), Jacupiranga (1 case), Iporanga (7 cases), Cananeia (3 cases), Cajati (2), Pariquera-Açu (1), and Sete Barras (1) reported confirmed cases. In the same state, additional cases in Vargem (1) and Serra Negra (1) municipalities were confirmed on the border with Minas Gerais State. Additionally, two cases have been confirmed in the municipalities of Antonina and Adrianópolis, located in the eastern part of Paraná State. These are the first confirmed yellow fever cases reported since 2015 from Paraná, a populous state with an international border. Among these confirmed cases, 89% (32/36) are male, the median age is 43 years, and at least 64% (23/36) are rural workers.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman - Mon, 11 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT

From 27 January and 31 January 2019, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of Oman reported five cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 07 Feb 2019 01:00:00 GMT

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues with relatively high numbers of cases reported in recent weeks (Figure 1), and some encouraging signs. Katwa and Butembo health zones remain the epicentres of the outbreak, reporting 71% of cases in the last three weeks, with smaller clusters continuing to occur concurrently across a geographically dispersed area.

As of 5 February, 789 EVD cases1 (735 confirmed and 54 probable) have been reported, including 488 deaths (overall case fatality ratio: 62%). Thus far, 267 people have been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) and enrolled in a dedicated monitoring and support programme. Among cases with available information regarding age and sex, 58% (454/788) were female, and 30% (232/786) were aged less than 18 years; including 116 children under five years. Five new health worker infections were reported in Katwa (4) and Kalunguta (1); overall 67 health workers have been affected to date.

Dengue fever – Jamaica - Mon, 04 Feb 2019 01:00:00 GMT

On 3 January 2019, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of Jamaica notified WHO of an increase in dengue cases in Jamaica.

From 1 January though 21 January 2019, 339 suspected and confirmed cases including six deaths were reported (Figure 1). In 2018, a total of 986 suspected and confirmed cases of dengue including 13 deaths have been reported. The number of reported dengue cases in 2018 was 4.5 times higher than that reported in 2017 (215 cases including six deaths). Cases reported to date for 2019 exceed the epidemic threshold (Figure 2).

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 31 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT

The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to respond to an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), despite persistent challenges around security and community mistrust impacting response measures.

Gonococcal infection – United Kingdom - Wed, 30 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT

On 7 January 2019, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland notified WHO about two cases of extensive drug resistant (XDR) Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection diagnosed in the United Kingdom.

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – Mozambique - Fri, 25 Jan 2019 01:16:00 GMT

On 17 January 2019, two genetically-linked circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) isolates were reported from Molumbo district, Zambezia province, Mozambique. The first one, was from an acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case with onset of paralysis on 21 October 2018, a six-year old girl with no history of vaccination, and the second isolate was from a community contact of the first case, a child aged one-year old.