Communicable disease threats report, 15-21 November 2015, week 47

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 15 - 21 November 2015

​The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 15-21 November 2015 and includes updates on Zika virus, MERS and Ebola virus disease.

Executive summary

This issue covers the period 15-21 November 2015, and includes updates on West Nile virus, Ebola virus disease, Zika virus and other health threats. 

West Nile virus, monitoring of 2015 season in Europe

The 2015 transmission season of West Nile virus started later than in previous years and West Nile activity this year has been at a lower level compared with last year. As no new cases have been reported in EU Member States for three consecutive weeks, ECDC will close its seasonal monitoring of West Nile virus transmission for 2015.

Ebola virus disease in West Africa

On 20 November, media quoting the Chief Medical Officer and acting head of the Ebola Case Management System, reported one confirmed case of EVD in a 10-year-old boy in Monrovia, Liberia. This case has not yet been confirmed by WHO.

Increase in microcephaly and temporal association with Zika virus epidemic in Brazil

In October 2015, the Brazil Ministry of Health reported an unusual increase in cases of microcephaly in the state of Pernambuco and at a lower level in other north eastern states. On 17 November, the Ministry of Health confirmed the presence of Zika virus (using RT-PCR) in amniotic fluid samples collected from two fetuses with microcephaly in Paraiba state (Northeast Brazil). Both pregnant women presented symptoms of zika virus infection during early pregnancy. Possible links between Zika virus infection in pregnancy and microcephaly of the foetus are under investigation.