Communicable disease threats report, 20-26 May 2012, week 21
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.
Since November 2011, an outbreak with 25 cases of Legionnaires’ disease, including six deaths, has been ongoing Spain related to a hotel in Calpe. Twenty-two of the cases are travel-associated and three cases are among hotel staff. Following the notification of four new cases since the control measures were implemented in February 2012, ECDC updated its risk assessment on this outbreak.The ECDC assessment concludes that the close clustering of the cases suggests an outbreak from a source within the hotel. However, environmental investigations have been conducted by and on the request of public health authorities in order to identify the source of this outbreak.In week 21, no new measles outbreaks were detected in the EU Member States while the number of confirmed measles cases in the ongoing West Cork (Ireland) and UK outbreaks increased. Transmission follows the traditional seasonal pattern of measles. Last year’s outbreaks in Europe peaked in May and declined over the rest of the year. This year, measles transmission is at a much lower level during the ongoing peak transmission season compared to the previous two years. The 2011-2012 influenza season is drawing to a close, the weekly ECDC surveillance report will be replaced by a fortnightly report during the off-season period (weeks 21–39/2012).Recognising that with increased travel and trade infectious diseases are more likely than ever to travel across borders, ECDC also monitors public health threats outside the EU. This week’s CDTR reports on the start of the start of seasonal chikungunya surveillance activities in the South of France and six autochthonous cases confirmed in Mayotte (French overseas department) from the beginning of the year to 16 May 2012. The weekly Communicable Disease Threats Report provides a bulletin intended for epidemiologists and health professionals in the area of communicable disease prevention and control.