Communicable disease threats report, 31 January - February 2016, week 5

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 31 January 2016 - 6 February 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 31 January - 6 February 2016 and includes updates on Zika virus, Ebola virus disease and seasonal influenza.

Executive summary

This issue covers the period from 31 January to 6 February 2016 and includes updates on seasonal influenza and Zika virus infection outbreaks.

Seasonal influenza

So far, the 2015–16 influenza season has been characterised by a predominance of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, accounting for 67% of sentinel surveillance detections of influenza in the WHO European Region. Compared to A(H3N2) viruses, A(H1N1)pdm09 may cause more severe disease and deaths in adults aged 15–64.

During week 4/2016, 31 of the 50 countries and territories that reported epidemiological data from ILI and ARI surveillance indicated increasing rates, with 34 countries reporting influenza virus detections in specimens from sentinel sources for week 04/2016, indicating increased influenza activity in the WHO European Region as a whole.

Belarus, Greece, Ireland and Malta indicated high-intensity influenza activity, as in the previous week, and Finland, the Russian Federation and Ukraine reported very high activity.

ECDC monitors influenza activity in Europe during the winter season and publishes its report weekly on the Flu News Europe website.

Zika - monitoring global outbreaks

As of 4 February, no autochthonous Zika virus transmission has been reported in the EU.

On 1 February 2016, WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) regarding clusters of microcephaly cases and other neurologic disorders in some areas affected by Zika virus.

Since last week, five additional countries or territories have reported laboratory-confirmed autochthonous transmission in the past two months: American Samoa, Samoa, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Tonga. Several Outermost EU regions continue to report autochthonous transmission, namely, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, French Guiana and Curaçao.

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