Communicable disease threats report, 15-21 June 2014, week 25

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 15 - 21 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 15 to 21 June 2014 and includes updates on:   

West Nile virus

West Nile fever (WNF) in humans is a notifiable disease in the EU. During the past week, no new human cases have been reported in the EU. In neighbouring countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina reported its first two cases of the year from Republika Srpska in the municipalities of Banja Luka and Trebinje. In week 23, ECDC started to produce its weekly West Nile fever (WNF) risk maps during the transmission season to inform blood safety authorities regarding WNF affected areas.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, MERS-CoV

In the past week, four additional MERS-CoV 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.

Chikungunya in the Caribbean

Most of the areas previously involved in the ongoing outbreak, which started in December 2013, continue to report cases, with Haiti and the Dominican Republic particularly affected. Costa Rica reported the first confirmed case and El Salvador is reporting the first cases locally diagnosed. However, these are yet to be laboratory confirmed. Several countries have recently reported imported chikungunya infection in patients with travel history to the affected areas: the US (several states), Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, France (including Tahiti), Italy, Panama, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. 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.

Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa

In the last two weeks, 54 new cases have been reported from Guinea, 20 from Liberia and 16 from Sierra Leone. In the past few weeks, a new wave of transmission has unfolded in all the affected countries after a period with relatively few reported cases. This is particularly evident in Guinea and Sierra Leone raising concerns about the effectiveness of the containment and control measures.