Dengue Fever – Reunion

Since the beginning of the year, the island of Reunion has seen a 10-fold increase in dengue fever cases as compared to the period in 2018, according to French health officials. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 3, 476 locally transmitted cases have been reported, including 145 in the past week.


Lassa Fever – Nigeria – Update

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 – DR Congo – Update

Despite slightly fewer cases reported during the past week, 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.


Measles – Philippines

The Philippines Department of Health in the Eastern Visayas are reporting an increase in dengue fever cases during the first five weeks of 2019. According to the data, the number of cases in the region from Jan. 1 to Feb. 9 totals 1,169 cases.

Dengue Fever – Jamaica

In a follow-up on the dengue fever outbreak in Jamaica, local media report that the number of dengue cases now stands at 1,166 suspected, presumed, or confirmed cases with dates of onset in 2019. 6 deaths have been confirmed.


Measles – Madagascar

The scale of the measles outbreak in Madagascar is of grave concern, as is its geographical spread-World Health Organization In a follow-up on our coverage of the measles outbreak in Madagascar, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports from Sep. 3, 2018 to Feb. 5, 2019, a total of 53,459 measles cases were recorded (lab confirmed).

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

The spike in Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections in Saudi Arabia continues with the kingdom’s health ministry reporting seven additional cases yesterday, bringing the total cases for the year to 50. The town of Wadi Aldwasir has been hit particularly hard reporting 30 cases in just the past two weeks. 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.

Yellow Fever – Brazil

Brazil is currently in the seasonal period for yellow fever, which occurs from December through May. From December 2018 through January 2019, 361 confirmed human cases, including eight deaths, have been reported in 11 municipalities of two states of Brazil.


Leptospirosis – Fiji

On Jan. 28, the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services declared a leptospirosis outbreak for the Central Division. In an update on the outbreak, Fiji media now reports 98 cases since the beginning of the year, including four deaths.

Echinococcus outbreak – Russia

An increase in infection with the tapeworm, Echinococcus, has been reported among cadets at the Suvorov Guards Military Academy in Ulyanovsk in western Russia. The head of the Main Military Medical Directorate of the Ministry of Defense said worms in the lungs were detected in 31 pupils.

Measles – Philippines – Update

Just days after measles outbreaks were declared in several regions of the archipelago including the National Capital Region (NCR) of Metro Manila, health officials reported some updated data. Philippines health officials reported today that the measles outbreak this year, linked in large part to vaccine hesitancy, has taken 70 lives since January 1. The Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DoH) reports a total of 4,302 measles cases have been reported from 1 January to 9 February.


Hepatitis B – Florida, USA

In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in Florida that started last year, state health officials reported 189 hepatitis A cases in 26 counties in January 2019.


Fatal ‘zombie’ deer disease could spread to humans

A fatal neurological disease that turns deer into zombies could spread to humans, health experts are warning.

The sickness, called chronic wasting disease, affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose and causes the animals to dramatically lose weight and walk in repetitive patterns. Other symptoms include loss of fear of humans, stumbling and listlessness.

Experts are concerned that it is probable that human cases of CWD associated with the consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead, and that the number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events.

Lassa Fever – West Africa

An escalating outbreak of Lassa fever in five west African countries is concerning public health experts, who are stepping up their efforts to contain the disease before it spreads to other countries. The virus, which is spread by rodents and claims roughly 5,000 lives a year, is endemic in the region. While the cases are occurring during the Lassa fever season, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is alarmed at the “speed of escalation”. Cases have been recorded in 16 states in Nigeria, where the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) declared an outbreak of Lassa fever on January 22, 2019.

The 213 confirmed cases to date, including 42 deaths, mark a significant increase – already a third of the total cases for all of last year, when Nigeria experienced its worst outbreak of the disease.

African Swine Fever – China

China has reported a new outbreak of African swine fever that is threating the country’s vital pork industry. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported Friday the disease had been detected on a farm in Yongzhou in the central province of Hunan, where 4,600 pigs were being raised.

Although just 171 of the pigs had died and 270 were found sick, ministry regulations require all pigs on an affected farm must be culled and disposed of and the area quarantined and decontaminated.

First detected in August, the disease has killed more than 1 million pigs in China, prompting restrictions on shipments of most of China’s 700 million swine, even healthy ones.


Ebola – DR Congo

As of 5 February, 789 EVD cases (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. Five new health worker infections were reported in Katwa (4) and Kalunguta (1); overall 67 health workers have been affected to date.

Equine flu – Britain

An outbreak of equine flu has led to the cancellation of all horse races in Britain until February 13 at the earliest.

Three vaccinated horses had tested positive for the disease in an active racing yard, forcing the sport’s ruling body, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), to call off four scheduled meetings Thursday.

But the ban has been extended over fears the outbreak could have spread, with horses from the affected stables taking part in race meetings Wednesday.



Philippines – Philippines health officials officially declared a measles outbreak in National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Manila on Wednesday. The DOH Epidemiology Bureau (DOH EB) has reported nearly 200 confirmed cases through January 19 in the region. In addition, 861 suspected cases have been reported in the Metro Manila area during the first month of the year.

Ireland – Ireland health officials declared a measles outbreak in Donegal after two confirmed cases were reported. Officials say the outbreak is linked to a third level institution in Galway.

Washington, USA – Since the beginning of the year, Clark County Public Health has reported 50 confirmed measles cases and another 11 suspect cases. Forty-eight of the cases are in children 18 years and younger and all the cases either were unvaccinated, undervaccinated or an unknown vaccination status.


Mad Cow Disease – Poland

The Poland Ministry of Agriculture notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or “Mad cow disease” among cattle on a Mirsk, Dolnoslaskie farm in southwestern Poland. The atypical strain of the disease was uncovered on January 24 during a routine screening.

Chikungunya – Thailand

In a follow-up on the chikungunya outbreak in southern Thailand, health officials recorded an additional 424 cases during the past week, bringing the total to 1,499 from 17 provinces since the beginning of the year.


Lassa fever case in Guinea

The Guinea Ministry of Health reported yesterday (computer translated) of a Lassa fever case in a 35-year-old man from Kissidougou Prefecture who was admitted to the Mamou Regional Hospital on Jan. 28. The case was laboratory confirmed on Feb. 1. To date, no other case has been notified.

Dengue Fever – Jamaica

The Senior Medical Officer (SMO) for St Catherine said that the parish recorded more than 520 notifications for dengue in the month of January. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2018, a total of 986 suspected and confirmed cases of dengue including 13 deaths were reported from Jamaica.


Saudi Arabia – Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health reported an additional four Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection today bringing the total to 20 cases in 2019. The most recent cases are from Riyadh (1) and Wadi Aldwasir (3) and one patient had contact with camels.


Pertussis – Panama

Health officials in Panama are reporting an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough in the Ngäbe Buglé region since mid-December, according to an El Siglo report. To date, 81 confirmed cases have been reported, including nine fatalities in children under two years of age.

Swine Flu – Morocco

An outbreak of swine flu in Morocco has left nine people dead in the past week, the kingdom’s health minister said Saturday. H1N1 is a respiratory disease contracted through contact between humans and pigs and transmitted between people through inhalation. A major H1N1 outbreak sparked a World Health Organization pandemic alert in June 2009. It killed around 18,500 people in 214 countries before the alert was lifted in August 2010


Rift Valley Fever – Mayotte

In the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and the coast of Mozambique sits the archipelago of Mayotte, a Department of France. Health officials have reported (computer translated) an increase in autochthonous Rift Valley fever (RVF) cases in the past six weeks. Since the first human case was detected on Dec. 11, 2018, health officials have reported 19 human cases.

Hepatitis A – Kentucky, USA

The largest hepatitis A outbreak in the nation continues to get larger as Kentucky health officials reported the updated outbreak case this past week. With the 79 cases reported during the fourth week on 2019, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) now puts the outbreak total at 3,919, since August 2017.

Chikungunya – Malayasia

The Selangor State Health Department reported yesterday that as of January 31, 2019, 14 patients with symptoms of Chikungunya have been detected.


Measles – Ukraine – Update

Ukraine health officials reported an additional 3,279 measles during the fourth week of the year (1,350 adults and 1,299 children), bringing the total to 11,757 people from December 28, 2018 to January 25, 2019. In addition, another measles fatality was reported, bring the total to six, including two children.

Deaths within 30 Days After Surgery

Around the world, 4.2 million people die every year within 30 days of undergoing surgery – with half of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, says a study in medical journal The Lancet. There is also a significant unmet need for surgery in these countries.

Researchers at the universities of Cape Town (UCT) and Birmingham say that if all patients who needed operations had them, the number of global postoperative deaths would increase to 6.1 million a year.

Foot and Mouth Disease – India

An outbreak of the highly contagious viral foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been reported in Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Neighboring States have put quarantine measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease.