Measles – Philippines

The Philippines government issued an update today on the measles epidemic situation in 2019. Through Mar. 12, 20,308 measles cases have been reported since the beginning of the year. In addition, the measles related death toll has reached 301.

Beware the Mosquito!

It has been suggested that the deadliest animal in the world is the mosquito. When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. According to the World Health Organization, about 725,000 people are killed every year by mosquito-borne diseases.


Measles – Ukraine – Update

Ukrainian health officials reported an additional 2,235 measles cases in the past week, bringing the outbreak total for 2019 to 28,686. Since the beginning of the year, ten people have died from the complications of the measles.

Barmah Forest virus – Tasmania

A mosquito-borne virus outbreak has Tasmanian health authorities moving to try to contain its spread. People on the state’s east coast in particular have been warned to protect themselves from mosquitoes after the confirmation of five cases of the Barmah Forest virus. Another two cases are being investigated. The Barmah Forest virus is related to Ross River virus and causes a similar illness.

Drug Resistant Bacteria

Analysis of sewage samples taken from 74 cities in 60 countries around the world reveals that drug-resistant bacteria are present in many healthy people living in those areas.

Scientists from the Technical University of Denmark found that the highest concentrations of such resistance was across a swath of South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand generally had the lowest levels.

The researchers say that poor sanitation and extensive use of antibiotics in the worst-affected areas are likely to be behind the growth in drug-resistance.


Measles – Madagascar – Update

In an update on the measles epidemic in Madagascar, UN health officials report 6,607 cases of measles, including 41 deaths in the week ending Feb. 24. This down several thousand cases from the prior week (9,902). This brings the outbreak total to 86,985 cases, including 1,141 deaths since the outbreak began in early September 2018.


Chikungunya and Dengue Fever – Thailand

Thailand health officials reported an additional 500-plus chikungunya cases during the past week, bringing the outbreak total, primarily in the south, to 2,551 cases. No deaths have been reported.

Meanwhile, concerning dengue fever, officials say since the beginning of the year, 9,914 cases have been reported, including nine fatalities.


Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)- Middle East

The World Health Organization’s regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO EMRO) reported a total of 76 laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in the month of February. Officials say 68 of the cases were reported from Saudi Arabia with 10 associated deaths and 8 from were reported from Oman with 2 associated deaths.

Plague – Uganda

Zombo District, Uganda is located in the eastern part of the country bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Earlier this month, officials with the country’s health ministry reported two probable cases of pneumonic plague. The initial case has died.

Measles – Philippines

The measles epidemic in the Philippines has increased by some 2,200 cases in a five day span, according to the latest government numbers. From Jan. 1 through Mar. 7, 18,553 cases were reported, up from 16,349 reported on Mar. 2.

Hepatitis A – Florida, USA

The number of hepatitis A cases continue to rise in Florida, State health officials reported 232 additional cases in February 2019, bringing the outbreak total to 971 cases since last year.



New Zealand – Canterbury is a region on New Zealand’s South Island and home to the city of Christchurch. According to health officials today, the region is experiencing a measles outbreak. The number of confirmed cases of measles in Canterbury now stands at twenty-five and is likely to rise further over the coming days and weeks.

Europe – The measles outbreak in Europe continues as 19 countries reported cases in January 2019, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 881 cases were reported from the 19 countries, while 10 reported no measles. Germany did not report measles data for January 2019. Romania reports the most cases.

Hantavirus – Argentina – Update

In a follow-up on the hantavirus outbreak in Argentina, since November 2, 2018, the Argentine Republic has faced an outbreak of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), the most recent cases were reported on February 7, 2019. To date, there have been 34 confirmed cases and 12 deaths.

Rift Valley Fever – Mayotte

People are infected with Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) through contact with blood, body fluids, or tissues of RVFV-infected animals, mainly livestock. In addition, several mosquito species can spread RVF virus. On the archipelago of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, the number of human cases continue to rise with 82 human cases having been confirmed.


Measles – Ukraine – Update

The number of measles cases continue to rise in Ukraine, albeit at a slightly lower level in the past two weeks, according to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. During the 9th week of 2019, 2,524 people – 1,230 adults and 1,312 children – became ill with measles. An additional fatality was reported in a 25-day-old infant, the 10th measles death of the year. Through March 1, Ukraine health officials report 26,544 cases.

Plague – Madagascar

Since Aug. 2018, Madagascar health officials have reported 105 human plague cases. Ninety-one cases were identified as bubonic plague, while 14 were pneumonic plague. Of the bubonic plagues cases reported to date, 19 people have died, Twelve of the fourteen pneumonic plague cases also perished.


Chaos as machines fail, patients die, in Venezuela blackout

Venezuela’s nationwide blackout left large areas of the country in chaos on Friday, crippling day-to-day functioning of hospitals and other public services. Witnesses described scenes of chaos at several hospitals as relatives tried to move patients in the dark to clinics with better emergency power facilities. A number of patients died during the blackout.

Maningitis – Nigeria

No fewer than 13 people lost their lives in an outbreak of communicable disease suspected to be meningitis at Karfi Village in Malumfashi local government area of Katsina State. 12 of the victims died in their homes while one out of the three persons rushed to the Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre in the village reportedly lost his life while receiving treatment at the health facility.


Ebola – DR Congo

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.

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. Overall, 569 deaths (case fatality ratio: 63%) have been reported, and 304 patients have been discharged from Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs).


Measles – New York, USA

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Brooklyn and Queens, city health officials report a dozen new cases, bringing the total to 133 since October. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.


Measles – Dublin, Ireland

The Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed an outbreak of measles in north Dublin. Since the beginning of February, five cases, affecting adults and children, have been reported.

Measles – Madagascar – Update

While health authorities report seeing decreases in the number of measles cases in Madagascar in recent weeks, the numbers are still astounding (reporting more than 7,000 new cases in the most recent week). According to UN officials, since the beginning of September 2018, 82,905 cases have been reported in all 22 regions of the country. There is an attack rate of more than 3,100 per 100,000 population nationally. In addition, 926 deaths have been reported.

Measles – Philippines – Update

In a follow-up on the measles epidemic in the Philippines, government officials are now reporting 16,349 cases in all 17 regions through Mar. 2. In addition, the death toll to this epidemic is 261 through the first two months of the year.

Nipah Virus – Bangladesh

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) in Bangladesh is reporting that between February 9 and 24, five members of a family in Baliadanga upazila, Thakurgaon died after complaining of fever, headache, nausea, and pain in muscles and joints. The IEDCR reports one of them was found to have carried the deadly Nipah virus (NiV).

Anthrax – Australia

Victoria agricultural officials are responding to a confirmed incident of anthrax in sheep on a single property near Swan Hill. The Victorian Acting Chief Veterinary Officer said quarantine notices had been put in place until the necessary biosecurity requirements, including carcass disposal and site disinfection, were completed.

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

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.


Equine Disteper – NIger

Just as strep throat can run rampant in elementary schools, strangles, the “strep throat” of horses, caused by a different Streptococcus bacterium, Streptococcus equi sp equi, is highly contagious. It is also known as equine distemper. According to the African news source, Vanguard, the contagious bacterial infection has killed more than 4,000 donkeys in northern Niger.

Rift Valley Fever – Mayotte

In a follow-up on the Rift Valley fever (RVF) case increases on the archipelago of Mayotte, 63 confirmed cases of RVF as of Feb. 21. No deaths have been reported.

Leishmaniasis – Libya

The Libya Health Ministry says that the country has seen some 5,000 cases of the parasitic disease, leishmaniasis in the past six months, according to a media account. “There are currently 5,000 patients who are being treated,” said the head of the centre for disease control at the health ministry of Libya’s UN-backed unity government.


Malaria – Colombia

Health officials are reporting a malaria outbreak in Cauca Department in southwestern Colombia. The outbreak has affected 322 people in the rural areas of Guapi and Timbiquí.

African Swine Fever – Vietnam

In a follow-up on the African swine fever outbreak in Vietnam, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture (MARD) announced this week an escalation and spread of the pig virus in the country. As of February 28, African swine fever (ASF) occurred in 96 households, 33 villages, 20 communes, 13 districts of 6 provinces and cities. ASF has also appeared in all wild pigs. The total number of infected and culled pigs was nearly 2,350 (with a total weight of over 172.5 tons).


Measles – Madagascar – Update

In a follow-up on the measles outbreak on the island country of Madagascar, UNICEF reports from 3 September to 21 February, 76,871 people were infected by measles and 928 died, a majority of which were children.

Dengue Fever – Peru

The Regional Health Office–Geresa has reported 33 confirmed cases of dengue in several localities of Lambayeque this year.

El Niño caused global disease outbreaks

Between 2015 and 2016, the weather phenomenon known as El Niño inadvertently set off a chain of events that led to global disease outbreaks.

But during the 2015-2016 event, NASA’s researchers found that El Niño changed precipitation, land surface temperatures and vegetation, facilitating conditions for the transmission of diseases. The aftermath resulted in a surge of reported cases for plague and hantavirus in the US states of Colorado and New Mexico; cholera in Tanzania; and dengue fever in Brazil and south-east Asia, among others. These findings are the first to comprehensively show the public health impacts of a major climate event on a global scale.


Measles – Philippines

In a follow-up on the measles epidemic in the Philippines, government officials report a nearly 1,000 case increase in a one day period. As of Feb. 26, a total of 13,723 cases have been reported, including 215 fatalities since the beginning of the year.

Anthrax – Tanzania

Health officials in Tanzania are reporting an anthrax outbreak in Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region in northern Tanzania. Dozens were sickened after consuming an anthrax tainted cow. 4 people are dead with at least 8 additional were hospitalized for their illness at two different hospitals.

African Swine Fever – China

Chinese agricultural officials are reporting a new African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in Shaanxi Province. The outbreak, which occurred on a Jingbian County, Yulin City farm of 11,334 pigs, resulted in the death of 62 swine.

Ebola – DR Congo

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.