Communicable disease threats report, 2-8 November 2014, week 45

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 2 - 8 November 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

This issue covers the period from 2 to 8 November 2014 and includes updates on: 

Seasonal influenza – Europe
In the fifth week of the current surveillance season, low-intensity influenza activity was reported by all 41 countries that submitted data. Sporadic cases were reported in eight countries and an increasing trend in two countries.

West Nile fever – Europe
During the past week, no new cases were reported in the European Union. Israel reported eight new cases in Tel Aviv (1 case), Central district (1), Haifa district (1), Northern district (3) and Southern district (2). In addition, one confirmed case was reported in Palestine (Gaza Strip). During the current transmission season, ECDC produces weekly West Nile fever (WNF) risk maps to inform blood safety authorities regarding WNF affected areas.

Ebola Virus Disease – West Africa
As of 2 November 2014, the World Health Organization reports 13 042 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease in six affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States of America) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal). Ebola virus transmission remains persistent and widespread in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. No additional cases have been reported in Spain or the USA.

Chikungunya – worldwide
An outbreak of chikungunya virus infection has been ongoing in the Caribbean since December 2013 and spread to North, Central and South America. As of 31 October 2014, the World Health Organization reports 793 563 autochthonous cases (13 357 laboratory confirmed) in the region, including 153 deaths. In Europe, seven locally acquired infections from the Montpellier area have been reported in France this year. The number of reported cases in the chikungunya outbreak in French Polynesia has reached 287 cases, as of 23 October 2014.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Since April 2012, 932 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 371 deaths. To date, all cases have either occurred in the Middle East, have direct links to a primary case infected in the Middle East, or have returned from this area.Since last week, seven cases have been reported from Saudi Arabia, one from Taif and six from Riyadh. ECDC published an epidemiological update on 5 November 2014