Communicable disease threats report, 6-12 July 2014, week 28

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 6 - 12 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 6 to 12 July 2014 and includes updates on:

West Nile virus

During the past week, no human cases of West Nile fever have been reported in the European Union or its neighbouring countries. A horse that tested seropositive for West Nile virus has been detected in Serres, Greece. During the June-November transmission season, ECDC monitors the situation in the EU and neighbouring countries in order to inform blood safety authorities regarding WNF-affected areas.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Since the last CDTR, six additional cases have been reported by Saudi Arabia. Two cases have been reported by the United Arab Emirates. Since April 2012, 851 cases of MERS-CoV infection have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 324 deaths. ECDC published its tenth updated rapid risk assessment on 2 June 2014 and an epidemiological update on 5 June 2014.

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. As of 11 July 2014, there have been almost 300 000 confirmed and suspected cases in the region, with at least 22 fatalities.
Most of the areas previously involved in the outbreak continue to report increasing case numbers, and the situation is particularly severe in the  island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). El Salvador is also severely affected. Several other countries have recently reported imported chikungunya infection in patients with travel history to the affected areas. The USA reports 141 imported cases spread among 29 states. ECDC published a Rapid Risk Assessment on 27 June 2014.

Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa

An ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa has been affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since December 2013. Since week 22 of 2014, a new wave of transmission is unfolding in all three affected countries, and the outbreak continues to evolve at an alarming pace. As of 8 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 888, including 539 deaths.