Disease

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.

Disease

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – Mozambique

On 17 January 2019, two genetically-linked circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) isolates were reported from Molumbo district, Zambezia province, Mozambique.

Ebola – DR Congo

The number of people killed in an Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo has risen to 443, health authorities have announced, as new President Felix Tshisekedi began his first full day in office on Friday. The rising death toll – up by more than 40 in the past 10 days – emphasises the challenge of controlling the epidemic in the strife-torn east and is just one of a host of complex issues facing Tshisekedi.

African Swine Flu – France

France will deploy the army to fight the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) found in wild boars, the Agriculture Minister has confirmed. These rapid measures will provide “logistical support” and are tasked with culling wild boar in a border zone next to Belgium. The virulent swine disease was first confirmed in Belgium near the borders with Luxembourg and France in September 2018. However since then the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has reported 245 cases of the disease in the Luxembourg region this month.

The drastic move by French authorities was enforced after the disease had spread to just one kilometre from mainland France in recent days.

Disease

China – African Swine Fever

China’s agriculture ministry on Sunday reported a new African swine fever outbreak in the northwestern region of Ningxia. The outbreak occurred on a farm with 57 live pigs in Yongning county, infecting pigs and killing 13, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

Newcastle Disease – Utah, USA

For the first time, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small domestic flock of backyard exhibition chickens (250) in Utah County, Utah. This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California. In Utah, the disease is currently contained to one domestic flock and has not been detected in any commercial poultry flocks.

Disease

Measles – Vancouver, Washington, USA

In a follow-up on the measles situation in Clark County, Washington, health officials are now reporting 14 confirmed cases and three suspected cases, all among children. One child required hospitalization for their illness. The bulk of the children are under the age of 10 and 13 of the cases were not vaccinated.

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

From 1 December 2018 through 31 December 2018, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of Saudi Arabia reported five additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

African Swine Fever Spreads to Mongolia

Asian pork producers need to redouble efforts to combat African swine fever after Mongolia reported its first outbreak, just five months after the deadly pig disease was first discovered in China.

Wildlife

Poland plans to kill thousands of boars

Poland’s battle to control highly contagious African swine fever (ASF) is turning into a political problem for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Since Saturday, hunters have been out in force across the country gunning for wild boars — many of which are carriers of the deadly disease that the Polish government wants to stamp out to protect domestic pigs.

It’s the scale of the cull that’s causing the trouble. A total of some 20,000 wild boars will be killed over the next few weekends — bringing this season’s overall cull to about 190,000 — the government estimates the total wild population is about 214,000.

The plan has galvanized a coalition of environmental groups, scientists and the political opposition. Polish Facebook pages are filled with cute pictures of boar piglets while the next few days will see protests in several Polish cities.

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Disease

African Swine Fever – China

A new outbreak of African swine fever has hit two farms in Jiangsu province in eastern China, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, as the highly contagious disease continues to spread through the world’s largest hog herd.

The outbreak in Siyang county hit two farms with a total of 68,969 pigs, the Xinhua report said, citing a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. A total of 2,452 pigs have been infected and 1,369 killed.

The latest case comes shortly after an outbreak in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China affected a large farm with 73,000 pigs.

Disease

African swine fever: Large outbreak – China

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported today on a large African swine fever (ASF) outbreak on a Suihua City farm in Mingshui County in Heilongjiang Province. The farm, which has 73,000 pigs, reportedly had 4,686 confirmed cases in pigs and 3,766 confirmed dead.

Ebola – DR Congo – Update

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reached a grim new milestone in the Ebola outbreak that began August 1: The total number of probable patients is 608 as of Wednesday, with 368 deaths, the Ministry of Health said. An additional 29 people who doctors suspect may be sick with Ebola are under investigation. The ministry also reported that 207 people have recovered from the life-threatening illness.

Disease

African swine fever – China

China on Tuesday reported the third outbreak of African swine fever in Guangdong, the southern province that borders Hong Kong, in less than a week. In the latest incident, in Boluo county, Huizhou, 11 of 90 pigs on a farm were killed by the deadly disease, the agriculture ministry said. On Saturday, similar infections were found in 30 pigs on a farm of more than 6,000 in the Huangpu district of Guangzhou. Nine of the animals have since died of the illness. Local authorities responded by sealing off the area and slaughtering 6,027 hogs.

Disease

African Swine Fever – China

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported today the first African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Guangdong Province in southern China. The outbreak was reported in a slaughterhouse in Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai City. 11 pigs were killed. Guangdong is the twenty-third province to report ASF.

Botched Cicumcisions – Kenya

A Kenyan news source reports that two teen boys from Bungoma County have died from tetanus after receiving a circumcision. Apparently the circumcisions were performed by a “traditional circumsicor”, who has since gone missing.

Disease

African Swine Fever – China

China has confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever in the municipality of Tianjin, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said Friday. The outbreak was found on a farm with a total of 361 pigs in the Ninghe district of Tianjin, among which 67 were confirmed to have died from the disease, the ministry said, citing a China Animal Disease Control Center report. Local authorities have initiated an emergency response to block, cull and disinfect the affected pigs.

Poliovirus – Afghanistan

UN health officials are reporting the 20th wild poliovirus case in Afghanistan, making it the most cases seen in the country since 2015. The latest case reported is from Shaheed-e-Hassas district of Urozgan province– a 3-year-old boy who is now permanently paralyzed by the poliovirus.

Fourteen cases have been reported in the south of the country and six cases in the east. From the south, nine cases have been reported in Kandahar, three cases in Helmand and two cases in Urozgan and from the east, three cases in Kunar, two cases in Nangarhar and one case in Nuristan.

Disease

African swine fever found in animal feed – China

Major Chinese animal feed maker Tangrenshen Group reported on Sunday that feed produced by one of its units had been contaminated with African swine fever, raising fears of its spread further across the country.

This is the first reported contamination of feed supplies in China and increases the concerns for pig farmers trying to avoid the disease. It also raises the economic pressure on feed manufacturers already struggling with low margins and slowing demand.

Ebola – DR Congo

As the official death toll reaches 200, authorities are describing the current ebola outbreak in the DR Congo as the worst in its history, since the disease was identified in 1976.

Disease

Ethiopia yellow fever outbreak

An outbreak of yellow fever has been confirmed in the Wolaita Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region of Ethiopia, located in the south-western part of the country.

Since the index case in late August, 35 suspected yellow fever cases have been reported in two woredas of Wolaita Zone in the SNNP Region. In addition, ten deaths were recorded (case fatality ratio 28.6%), including six in health facilities and four in the community.

African Swine Fever – China – Update

China confirmed a new case of African swine fever on Monday, in southern Hunan province, marking the 50th outbreak of the highly contagious disease in the world’s top pork producer. China’s agriculture ministry said the latest case was on a small farm of 119 pigs in Baojing county, near the border with Chongqing. It follows two cases reported over the weekend, one in Chongqing municipality, close to Baojing.

China linked feeding kitchen waste to pigs to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever in recent months, but it has not given a cause of the other cases. Analysts said the country’s feed sector might have been contaminated, suggesting risks were high that the disease would continue to spread quickly.

Disease

Leptospirosis – Philippines

The Pangasinan Provincial Health Office (PHO) is reporting a surge in leptospirosis cases. Through Sept. 24, the PHO has reported 372 cases and 47 fatalities. Males accounted for the bulk of the cases in the province.

African Swine Fever – China – Update

China, the world’s largest pork producer, has culled 200,000 pigs from its herds due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever. A Reuters report says Chinese health officials made the announcement last week. That number represents a small part of the 700 million pigs that China slaughters every year for food consumption. However, due to restrictions on transporting animals that are designed to help curb the spread of the disease have created tight pork supplies in parts of the country. Forty-one disease outbreaks have affected 27 different cities across the country.

Disease

Dengue Fever – Bangladesh

Since the beginning of the year through Oct. 15, Bangladesh has reported 7,450 dengue fever cases and at least 17 fatalities, according to the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research (IEDCR). This is a record for the number of dengue cases in a year.

Cholera – Zimbabwe – Update

The Zimbabwe cholera outbreak that began over a month ago continues to grow with 9,116 cases , including 54 deaths as of Friday. Fortunately, the weekly case incidence has been on a downward trend in recent weeks.

African Swine Fever – China

China reported a new African swine fever case on a farm with nearly 20,000 pigs on Monday, the largest farm yet to report the highly contagious disease in the world’s top pork producer.

The new case, one of numerous to be reported in northeast Liaoning province in recent days, underlines the escalating threat to the country’s $1 trillion pig industry from the disease despite a slew of initial measures imposed to curb its spread.

Pig prices have plunged in China’s northeast after farmers were unable to transport their herds out of infected provinces, while prices in the south have surged.

Disease

African Swine Fever – China

China’s northeastern province of Liaoning has reported new cases of African swine fever, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. The outbreak was confirmed on pig farms in several villages in Yingkou city, Liaoning province, killing 93 pigs and infecting 334, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement published on its website.