Communicable disease threats report, Week 14, 29 March-4 April 2015

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 29 March - 4 April 2015

​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 (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals about active public health threats. This issue covers the period 29 March-4 April 2015 and includes updates on Ebola virus disease, seasonal influenza, and MERS-CoV.  

Ebola virus disease epidemic – West Africa
In the week leading to 29 March, WHO reported 82 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease, compared with 79 cases the previous week. Fifty-seven new cases were reported from Guinea and 25 from Sierra Leone. No cases were reported from Liberia. The geographic area of transmission also increased, especially in Guinea where seven prefectures reported cases, compared to three in the previous week.
As of 29 March 2015, WHO reported 25 213 cases of Ebola virus disease related to the outbreak in West Africa, including 10 460 deaths. ECDC published a rapid risk assessment on 4 February 2015.

Seasonal influenza 2014–15
Influenza activity is decreasing in most reporting countries but the proportion of influenza virus positive samples remains high (37%). Hospitalized influenza cases were reported mainly among people aged 65 years and above (52%).ECDC and WHO monitor and report on influenza activity in Europe on a weekly basis throughout the flu season in the Flu News Europe bulletin.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 
Since the last update on 24 March 2015, Saudi Arabia has reported eight additional cases of MERS-CoV infections. The cases were reported from Jeddah (3), Makkah (1), Riyadh (1), Ehssa (1), Eastern Province (1) and Tabuk (1). Since April 2012 and as of 2 April 2015, 1 118 cases of MERS-CoV have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 458 deaths.