Communicable disease threats report, 8-14 July, week 28

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)

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

During the week 8-14 July, ECDC monitored several EU and non-EU threats.

A case of cutaneus anthrax has been reported in an injecting drug user in Copenhagen, Denmark. He bought the heroin on 1 July in Copenhagen and died on 8 July. This follows three similar cases in Germany over recent weeks, one of which also died. Investigations are ongoing to identify whether these cases are linked. ECDC is preparing an update to its previous joint rapid risk assessment with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The first cases of West Nile fever of the season have been reported in Europe. Two cases have been reported by the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) in the past week in the outskirts of Athens. Health authorities in the Russian Federation also reported 5 cases of West Nile fever in Astrakhan Oblast.

In relation to the ongoing travel-associated cluster of Legionellosis in Calpe, Spain, at the invitation of the Spanish Ministry of Health, an ECDC expert joined an assessment mission to the hotel in question. The probable source has been identified as the spa pool. The hotel will remain closed until the Spanish authorities approve its reopening.

Among the non-EU threats, the CDTR reports 85 people that contracted cholera in the south-western province of Granma in Cuba. ECDC has issued an assessment in the context of the risk to European travellers. It concludes given where the outbreak is on the island the risk is negligible but travellers should practice good hygiene and sanitary measures to limit risk of infections.

No major health events were reported this week through the enhanced surveillance for 2012 UEFA football championship. This is the last week of enhanced monitoring reporting for EURO 2012. Next week’s CDTR shall include reporting of the ECDC enhanced surveillance for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.