Communicable disease threats report, 28 Aug - 3 Sep 2016, week 35

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 28 August - 3 September 2016

​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 28 August - 3 September 2016 and includes updates on  Zika virus, yellow fever, West Nile fever and cholera.

Executive summary

This issue covers the period 28 August - 3 September 2016 and includes updates on Zika virus, yellow fever and West Nile fever. 

Spanish health authorities report two cases (one fatal) of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF). The fatal case had no travel history to exotic countries but had noticed a tick bite after a walk in the countryside. The second case is an ICU nurse who had been involved in caring for the patient and who is currently hospitalised. ECDC is currently preparing a risk assessment.


Since 1 February 2016, Zika virus infection and the related clusters of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Since 2015, and as of 2 September 2016, there have been 63 countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne transmission. According to WHO and as of 1 September 2016, 20 countries or territories have reported microcephaly and other central nervous system malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection.

ECDC publishes an epidemiological update every Friday and continues to update maps containing information on countries or territories which have reported confirmed autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection. Zika Atlas is available on ECDC website. 

The latest ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment update was published on 31 August.

Yellow fever

An outbreak of yellow fever in Angola started in December 2015 in the municipality of Viana, Luanda province, and has spread to all 18 provinces of Angola.

The outbreak appears to be declining, with no new confirmed cases in the last six weeks. The geographical extent of the outbreak in DRC continues to increase. Areas at greatest risk are those with Aedes mosquitoes present, low population immunity and high population mobility. The rainy season is due to begin in September, and will increase the risk of vector borne transmission.

This will also reduce accessibility to remote areas, including provinces that border Angola.

West Nile fever

During the past week, one probable case of West Nile was reported in Vukovar-Srijem county in Croatia. This is the first case reported by Croatia in 2016. Romania reported eight new cases in Bucharest (4), Dolj (1), Ialomita (2) and Ilfov (1). In neighbouring countries, Russia reported 25 new cases, 19 cases in the already affected Saratovskaya Oblast, four cases in the already affected Astrakhanskaja Oblast and one case each in the newly affected Lipetsk and Volgograd Oblasts. In Serbia, six new cases were reported in already affected district of Podunavski (1) and the city of Belgrade (5). Israel reported seven new cases in already affected districts of Haifa (1), Jerusalem (1), Southern (2), Northern (2) and Tel Aviv (1) and one new case in the Merom Golan settlement in the Golan region.

 ECDC produces weekly West Nile fever maps during the transmission season (typically June to November) to inform blood safety authorities of affected areas.