Communicable disease threats report, 9-15 February 2014, week 7

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 9-15 February 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 covers the period 9 to 14 February 2014 and includes updates on:

​Seasonal influenza in Europe
For the second consecutive week, the proportion of sentinel specimens testing positive for influenza virus has decreased with signs of declining influenza activity in some countries. Of the 27 countries providing clinical data, Greece reported high-intensity influenza activity, eight reported medium intensity and 18 countries reported low-intensity influenza activity.

Chikungunya in the Caribbean
During the past week, 490 new cases of chikungunya have been reported in the Caribbean. New confirmed cases were reported from the French part of Saint Martin (52), the Dutch part of the island  (Sint Maarten, 5), Martinique (326), Saint Barthélemy (21) and Guadeloupe (81). Four additional cases were notified in Anguilla and one imported case was recorded in French Guyana. This is the first documented outbreak of chikungunya with local transmission in the Americas.

Zika virus in French overseas territories
The two French overseas territories French Polynesia and New Caledonia are currently experiencing an outbreak of Zika virus infection. Since the last update, more than three hundred new suspected cases have been reported in French Polynesia. The outbreak is subsiding in most affected islands of the territory. In New Caledonia, health authorities confirmed 19 new cases in the past week; 18 of them were locally transmitted.
This outbreak could lead to travel-related imported cases in the European Union with no expected onward transmission during the European winter season, while there is a high risk for the disease to spread to other islands in the Pacific region, concludes the ECDC risk assessment published on 14 February 2014.