Communicable disease threats report, 15-20 April 2012, week 16
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.
Following reports of potential contamination with Bacillus cereus end of March 2012, manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb issued a voluntary precautionary recall of all batches of Viaspan®, a solution used for the preservation of kidney, liver and pancreas before transplantation. The batches in question had been produced since 4 July 2011.The initial ECDC rapid risk assessment from start of April was updated on 18 April following new information received from the manufacturer and the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) and includes recommendations for reducing the risk of infection. So far, no cases of B. cereus infection in transplanted patients have been reported. However, B. cereus can cause serious infection in immune-suppressed patients. The risk assessment was distributed to the European Commission and to national authorities responsible for organ safety.In addition, ECDC continued monitoring measles outbreaks and influenza activities in Europe. No new measles outbreaks or clusters were detected in EU Member States while the UK outbreaks show that the number of cases is still increasing. During week 15, decreasing influenza transmission trends were reported by 14 countries, 13 of which have reported such trends for at least two consecutive weeks.