Communicable disease threats report, 1-7 June 2014, week 23

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 1 - 7 June 2014

​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

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. This issue covers the period from 1 to 7 June 2014 and includes updates on:

West Nile fever
West Nile fever (WNF) in humans is a notifiable disease in the EU. From week 23 onwards, ECDC will produce weekly West Nile fever (WNF) risk maps during the transmission season to inform blood safety authorities regarding WNF affected areas. During the past week, no human cases of West Nile fever have been detected in EU Member States or neighbouring countries.

On 3 June 2014, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia updated the MERS case count with 113 previously unreported cases representing a 20% increase in the cumulative number of cases, these cases have not been confirmed by WHO. Furthermore additional cases have been reported by Saudi Arabia. ECDC published its tenth updated rapid risk assessment on 2 June 2014 and an epidemiological update on 5 June 2014.

ECDC follows reports of polio cases worldwide through epidemic intelligence in order to highlight polio eradication efforts and identify events that increase the risk of re-introduction of wild poliovirus into the EU. On 5 May 2014, the Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan, declared that the spread of wild-type poliovirus in 2014 constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in accordance with the International Health Regulations. ECDC updated its rapid risk assessment on polio on 28 May 2014.

As of 9 June 2014, there have been more than 100 000 suspected cases in the Caribbean region with at least 14 fatalities. Epidemiological data indicate that the outbreak, which started in Saint Martin (FR), is still expanding. Vigilance is recommended for the occurrence of imported cases of chikungunya in tourists returning to the EU from the Caribbean.
ECDC published an epidemiological update on 5 June 2014.

Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa
There has been an upsurge of EVD cases in Sierra Leone during the past week and the outbreak affects seven regions of the country. Community resistance, inadequate treatment facilities and insufficient human resources in certain affected areas are among challenges currently faced by the three countries in responding to the EVD outbreak. The risk of infection for travellers is considered very low.ECDC has provided guidance to Member States for travellers to and from the affected countries. Update of the rapid risk assessment is in preparation.