Communicable disease threats report, 1-7 December 2013, week 49

Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 1 - 7 December 2013

​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

Salmonella Mikawasima

On 8 November 2013, the UK reported an unusual increase in laboratory reports of domestic cases of Salmonella Mikawasima between September and November 2013. Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, reported temporally linked domestic cases. Denmark, Sweden and Germany also reported an associated increase above the national average for the period. In a joint rapid outbreak assessment prepared by ECDC and European Food Safety Authority, a multi-sectorial investigation was recommended to understand and assess the risk associated with this increasing trend of Salmonella Mikawasima infections in the EU/EEA. Details of this investigation are being discussed with affected countries. ECDC will continue to monitor the situation.


During week 49, all 29 reporting countries experienced low intensity of influenza activity.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Between 28 November and 5 December 2013, three cases of MERS-CoV were announced in the United Arab Emirates. One of the patients died. Two previously reported patients from Qatar were confirmed to have died by the World Health Organization. Since April 2012, 163 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 71 deaths, of MERS-CoV, have been reported by national health authorities.

Influenza A(H7N9)

In March 2013, a novel avian influenza A(H7N9) virus was detected in patients in China. Since then, the outbreak has affected 13 Chinese provinces and Taiwan causing 141 cases of human infection, including 45 deaths. Since the end of May 2013, only sporadic cases have been reported. During week 49, one new case was reported in Hong Kong (China) in a patient with recent travel history to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, where cases have occurred previously.