Communicable disease threats report, 3-9 December 2017, week 49

Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 3-9 December 2017

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 3-9 December and includes updates on influenza, Listeria monocytogenes IVb, measles, MERS-CoV, plague, poliomyelitis, rubella, and yellow fever.

Executive summary

This issue covers the period 29 November to 5 December and includes updates on Zika virus infection, influenza and refugee movements.

Zika – Multistate (World)

In February 2014, Chile confirmed the first case of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus infection (ZIKV) on Easter Island (Chile). Since then, ZIKV infections have spread to the Americas. In 2015, autochthonous cases have been reported in Brazil, Chile (Easter Island), Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela. Autochthonous cases have also been reported from Cape Verde and in the Pacific area (French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu). Possible links between ZIKV infection in pregnancy and microcephaly of the foetus have been under investigation since October 2015 when the Brazilian Ministry of Health reported an unusual increase in cases of microcephaly after the ZIKV outbreak in the North eastern states. Similar findings are also reported from French Polynesia. On 24 November 2015, ECDC published a rapid risk assessment on Microcephaly in Brazil potentially linked to the Zika virus epidemic.

Influenza in Europe

In the past week, the intensity of influenza activity across the WHO European Region was low in most of the 40 countries that reported data. All parts of Europe reported sporadic or local geographic spread of influenza. ECDC monitors influenza activity in Europe during the winter season and publishes its report weekly on the Flu News Europe website.

Refugee movements – Multistate

According to media or public health authorities’ sites, vaccination campaigns among refugees in several countries in Europe (Germany, Sweden and Norway) have been initiated or are being recommended. ECDC published a rapid risk assessment on shigellosis among refugees in the EU