Communicable disease threats report, 29 June-5 July 2014, week 27

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 29 June - 5 July 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 of the weekly ECDC threat report covers the period from 29 June to 5 July 2014 and includes updates on:

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Since the last CDTR, four additional cases have been reported by Saudi Arabia. One case has been reported by Iran.
Since the beginning of the outbreak in April 2012, 838 cases of MERS-CoV infection have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 322 deaths. ECDC published its tenth updated rapid risk assessment on 2 June 2014 and epidemiological updates on 5 June and 2 July 2014.

 Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa

In the past week, the affected countries have continued to report cases and fatalities. As of 2 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases of EVD in the three countries stands at 779, including 481 deaths. ECDC published an epidemiological update on 2 July.
 
The World Health Organization convened a special Ministerial meeting held on 2-3 July 2014 in Accra, Ghana, with the participation of ministers of health and senior health officials from 11 African countries, partners and Ebola survivors as well as representatives of airlines and mining companies, and the donor communities. In a statement issued at the end of the meeting, the group called for immediate action.
 
An outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa has been affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since December 2013. This is the largest EVD outbreak reported. The risk of infection for travellers is considered very low.

 Chikungunya in the Caribbean

An outbreak of chikungunya virus infection has been ongoing in the Caribbean since December 2013. The outbreak expanded in to Central and South America. There have been more than 280 000 probable and confirmed cases in the region. At least 22 fatalities have been reported so far.
 
Most of the areas previously involved continue to report an increasing number of cases, and the situation is particularly severe in the Hispaniola island (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Vigilance is recommended for the occurrence of imported cases of chikungunya in tourists returning to the EU from the Caribbean. ECDC published a Rapid Risk Assessment on 27 June 2014.