Communicable disease threats report, 1-7 April 2012, week 14

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)

The ECDC communicable disease threats report is a weekly bulletin intended for epidemiologists and health professionals in the area of communicable disease prevention and control. Summarising information gathered by ECDC through its epidemic intelligence activities regarding communicable disease threats of concern to the European Union, it also provides updates on the global situation and changes in the epidemiology of communicable diseases with potential to affect Europe, including diseases that are the focus of eradication efforts.

Executive summary

Batches of ViaSpanĀ®, a solution used for the preservation of kidney, liver and pancreas before transplantation, were recalled on March 30. Myers Squibb issued a voluntary precautionary recall of all batches produced since 4 July 2011 after reports of potential contamination with Bacillus cereus. No cases of B. cereus infection following transplantation have been reported to date. However, B. cereus may cause serious infection in immunocompromised patients.

ECDC has prepared a rapid risk assessment, which has been distributed to the European Commission and to national authorities responsible for organ safety. Nevertheless, uncertainties regarding the confirmation and extent of contamination of the implicated batches, the microbiological characteristics and antibiotic susceptibility pattern of the implicated strain are limiting the ability to accurately assess the risk.

Additionally, ECDC continued monitoring measles outbreaks in Europe. To date, three countries have noted large outbreaks in 2012: the UK, Romania and Spain. In other EU Member States the reported numbers are lower so far this year than those reported for the corresponding period last year. Transmission seems to be following the traditional seasonal pattern.

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