Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 10 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT

WHO and partners continue to respond to the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in one of the most complex settings possible.

Yellow fever – Nigeria - Wed, 09 Jan 2019 01:00:00 GMT

On 22 November 2018, the World Health Organization was informed of a cluster of suspected Yellow fever (YF) cases and deaths in Edo State, Nigeria.

Poliomyelitis - Democratic Republic of the Congo - Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:01:00 GMT

As of October 2018, genetically-linked circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) isolates were detected in two cases from Haut-Katanga province (Mufunga-Sampwe district) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first case was a 11-year old child who experienced onset of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) on 6 October. The second case was a 29-month old child who experienced onset of symptoms on 7 October, and is a known contact of the first case. The isolated viruses are a new emergence and unrelated to previously-detected cVDPV2s affecting the country. This is the fourth distinct outbreak of cVDPV2 detected in the country since June 2017. In total, 42 cVDPV2 cases have now been confirmed since detection of the first outbreak in June 2017, 20 cases of which were detected in 2018.

In February 2018, the government declared cVDPV2 to be a national public health emergency. On 26 July 2018, the Minister of Health, WHO Director General, the Regional Director for Africa, and provincial governors convened an urgent, high-level meeting and signed the ‘Kinshasa Declaration for Polio Eradication’. Provincial governors pledged to provide the necessary oversight, accountability and resources required to urgently improve the quality of the outbreak response being implemented across the country. It is imperative that the remaining operational gaps in outbreak response are urgently filled with the appropriate oversight and engagement.

Hantavirus disease – Republic of Panama - Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:01:00 GMT

The Panama Ministry of Health has reported an increase in cases of hantavirus infection in Los Santos Province, Republic of Panama, to the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Between 1 January and 22 December 2018, a total of 103 confirmed cases of hantavirus have been reported at the national level, 99 of which were reported in Los Santos Province. In Los Santos Province, 51 cases were classified as hantavirus fever1 (HF) without pulmonary syndrome and 48 cases were classified as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome2 (HPS), including four deaths.

Cases were confirmed by serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)3. Sequencing determined that the type of virus associated with this outbreak is Choclo virus. It was first isolated in 1999 in the western Republic of Panama.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT

The response by WHO and partners to the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak continues despite disruptions to key services due to security incidents taking place in Beni and Butembo during the recent election on 30 December 2018. In order to ensure the safety of all staff deployed, as a precautionary measure, operations were scaled back for a few hours on election day. All normal operations have been fully restored as of 1 January 2019. After an intensification of field activities in early December, notable improvements can be observed in many areas, notably a decrease in cases in Beni. However, hard-earned progress could still be lost to rebound levels of transmission resulting from prolonged periods of insecurity hampering containment efforts.

During the reporting period (27 December 2018 – 2 January 2019), 16 newly confirmed cases were reported from Beni (two), Butembo (five), Katwa (three), Komanda (one), Mabalako (one), and Oicha (four) health zones (Figure 1). As of 2 January 2019, there have been a total of 609 EVD cases1 (561 confirmed and 48 probable, Figure 2), including 370 deaths and 208 people having recovered. Overall, cases are occurring in localised hotspots within 16 health zones found in North Kivu and Ituri. Amongst confirmed and probable cases, the case load has been highest in females aged 15-49 who are eligible for vaccination (i.e. non-pregnant), and also females aged 50 years and older (Figure 3). Amongst confirmed and probable cases, 61% (374/609) were female (median age = 28) and were predominantly older than male cases (median age = 25.5). Of note, 16% (96/607) of cases were among children less than five years old, and 7% (41/607) were infants less than one year old. Most of the cases among children aged five years old or more were from Beni, 48% (46/96). There were 29 cases among pregnant women, of which 14 were from Beni. Fifteen of the 29 cases were reportedly breastfeeding women.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Fri, 28 Dec 2018 02:00:00 GMT

The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to respond to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - Fri, 28 Dec 2018 01:07:00 GMT

From 31 October through 30 November 2018, the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) National Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported eight additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including two deaths. Details of these cases can be found in a separate document (see link below).

From 2012 through 30 November 2018, the total number of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases reported globally to WHO under IHR (2005) is 2274 with 806 associated deaths. The total number of deaths includes the deaths that WHO is aware of to date through follow-up with affected member states.

Typhoid fever – Islamic Republic of Pakistan - Thu, 27 Dec 2018 00:01:00 GMT

Pakistan Health Authorities have reported an ongoing outbreak of extensively drug resistant (XDR) typhoid fever that began in the Hyderabad district of Sindh province in November 2016. An increasing trend of typhoid fever cases caused by antimicrobial resistant (AMR) strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (or S. Typhi) poses a notable public health concern. In May 2018, the case definitions for non-resistant, multi-drug resistant (MDR) and XDR typhoid fever were formally agreed by the Regional Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (RDSRU) in Karachi, following a review by an expert group of epidemiologists, clinicians and microbiologists from Pakistan. All typhoid fever cases reported from 2016 to 2018 were reviewed and classified according to these case definitions (see Table 1).

From 1 November 2016 through 9 December 2018, 5 274 cases of XDR typhoid out of 8 188 typhoid fever cases were reported by the Provincial Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (PDSRU) in Sindh province, Pakistan. Sixty-nine percent of cases were reported in Karachi (the capital city), 27% in Hyderabad district, and 4% in other districts in the province (Table 2). The circulating XDR strain of S. Typhi haplotype 58 was resistant to first and second-line antibiotics as well as third generation cephalosporins. Informal reports of XDR typhoid cases occurring in other parts of Pakistan were made and required further verification.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 20 Dec 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Responding to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be a complex challenge.

Yellow Fever – Kingdom of the Netherlands - Tue, 18 Dec 2018 00:01:00 GMT

On 22 November 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed by Dutch authorities of a laboratory-confirmed case of yellow fever. The case-patient is a 26 year-old male who visited Gambia from 3 through 17 November 2018, with a three day trip to Senegal from 12 through 14 November. He had no history of vaccination for yellow fever prior to the trip. On 18 November 2018, the case-patient developed symptoms including fever, nausea and vomiting. On19 November 2018 he was hospitalized with symptoms of acute liver failure and he is still in hospital as of 10 December.

The International Health Regulations National Focal Point (IHR NFP) from the Netherlands has notified counterparts in Gambia and Senegal about the case, and about the exact locations visited by the patient. There have been no other reports of confirmed yellow fever cases from Senegal, Gambia or The Netherlands at this time.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:01:00 GMT

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is occurring in an unforgiving context. Non-engagement from communities and conflict continue to hamper response activities in some affected areas. Moreover, poor infection prevention and control (IPC) practices across numerous private and public health centers remain a major source of amplification of the outbreak and risk to health and other frontline workers.

Despite these challenges, substantial progress has been made on multiple fronts to address the situation, and daily successes are being observed in the implementation of proven public health measures alongside newer tools, such as vaccination and novel therapeutics. Together with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and our partners, WHO is further scaling up our response to the developing situation. WHO especially emphasizes the need to continuously improve quality, judiciously deploy new tools at our disposal, and sustain international commitment to response efforts well into 2019. Nonetheless, we remain confident the outbreak can be brought to a conclusion.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 06 Dec 2018 00:01:00 GMT

Responding to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in north-eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be a multifaceted challenge. By utilising proven public health measures (contact tracing, engaging communities) as well as new tools at hand (vaccine and therapeutics), WHO remains confident the outbreak can be contained and brought to an end.

During the reporting period (28 November – 4 December 2018), 35 new cases were reported from nine health zones in North Kivu and Ituri provinces: Beni (8), Komanda (eight), Katwa (eight), Vuhovi (three), Kalunguta (two), Butembo (two), Mabalako (two), Masereka (one), and Mutwanga (one). Recent cases in Komanda and Mabalako health zones follow an extended period (exceeding two incubation periods) without detection of new cases; highlighting the risk of reintroduction of the virus, and the need to maintain enhanced surveillance. Cases in the Komanda originated from an infection of a mother and her children in Beni. While insecurity in Komanda will challenge the response activities, control measures including contact tracing and vaccination were initiated soon after the detection of cases.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 29 Nov 2018 00:01:00 GMT

As the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak approaches five months since declaration, responding to the outbreak continues to be a challenge; nevertheless, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners, WHO remains focused on the ongoing containment efforts to end the outbreak.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 22 Nov 2018 00:09:00 GMT

Containing the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a complex and challenging task but WHO remains confident that the outbreak can be successfully contained in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - Tue, 20 Nov 2018 01:07:00 GMT

From 16 through 30 October 2018, the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) National Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported four additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including one death.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 15 Nov 2018 01:09:00 GMT

New measures to overcome obstacles in responding to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are having a positive impact. The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to be confident that, despite challenges, the outbreak can be contained.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 08 Nov 2018 00:09:00 GMT

As the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak enters the fourth month since declaration, and case numbers surpass 300, substantial progress has been achieved in all aspects of the response.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia - Thu, 01 Nov 2018 01:07:00 GMT

From 17 September through 15 October 2018, the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) National Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported eight additional cases of MERS-CoV infection, including three deaths. Of the eight cases reported, three were hospital contacts from one hospital in Dammam and two were household contacts in Riyadh. Details of these cases can be found in a separate document (see link below).

From 2012 through 15 October 2018, the total global number of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV cases reported to WHO is 2262 with 803 associated deaths.

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo - Thu, 01 Nov 2018 01:03:00 GMT

The increase over the past four weeks in confirmed case incidence (Figure 1), most notably in the city of Beni and communities around Butembo, is concerning.

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – Niger - Tue, 30 Oct 2018 01:16:00 GMT

From July through September 2018, six cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported from Niger, genetically linked to a cVDPV2 case in Jigawa and Katsina States, Nigeria. The virus was isolated from children with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) from Zinder region, located in the south of Niger and on the border with Nigeria, with dates of onset of paralysis ranging from 18 July through 16 September 2018. This outbreak has also affected Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Gombe, and Borno states in Nigeria, with 17 cases reported since April 2018.