Communicable disease threats report, 11-17 May 2014, week 20

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 11 - 17 May 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 11 to 16 May 2014 and includes updates on: seasonal influenza, MERS-CoV and ebola.

Influenza season Europe

The 2013–14 influenza season is coming to an end with influenza activity continuing to decline in all reporting countries after five months of active transmission. See also the data provided in ECDC’s Weekly influenza surveillance overview for week 19/2014.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS–CoV)

Since April 2012 and as of 16 May 2014, 621 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 188 deaths. During week 20/2014, 84 new cases have been reported.
Sixty-five cases were reported by Saudi Arabia. Fourteen cases were reported by the United Arab Emirates. Lebanon has reported its first case of MERS-CoV with no travel history nor contact to a confirmed case. Two cases with a recent travel history to Saudi Arabia were reported by the Netherlands. The USA reported a second case of MERS-CoV with travel history to Saudi Arabia. Jordan has reported one case with no travel history.
ECDC published an update to its rapid risk assessment on 25 April 2014 and an epidemiological update on 16 May 2014.

Chikungunya, Caribbean

During the past week, new cases of chikungunya were reported in most of the affected areas. As of 25 April 2014, more than 40 000 probable and confirmed cases have been reported in the region, including seven deaths. In the French Antilles, the number of new cases is generally decreasing or constant. In French Guiana, the number of autochthonous cases is increasing and the virus circulation is intensifying and new emerging clusters have been identified. Increased transmission is reported by the Dominican Republic.

Ebola virus disease, Guinea, West Africa

Since February 2014, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been on-going in Guinea. Five new confirmed cases have been reported in Guinea during week 20, bringing the number of reported clinical cases by the Ministry of Health of Guinea to 248, including 171 deaths.
ECDC has published an updated rapid risk assessment and provided guidance to Member States for the safe handling of bush meat, as well as for travellers from and to the affected countries. ECDC’s latest epidemiological update was published on 14 May 2014.