Communicable disease threats report, Week 29, 12-18 July 2015

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 12 - 18 July 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

West Nile Fever - Europe
During the past week, no new cases were reported in EU Member States or neighbouring countries.
As of 16 July 2015, one human case of West Nile fever in the EU has been reported by Bulgaria. No cases have been recorded in neighbouring countries since the beginning of the 2015 transmission season. ECDC publishes weekly West Nile fever risk maps to inform blood safety authorities regarding affected areas.

Environmental suitability for Vibrio growth - Baltic Sea
ECDC has developed a model in its E3 Geoportal to map the environmental suitability for Vibrio growth in the Baltic Sea. In the last week, conditions in the southern part of the Baltic Sea are considered suitable for Vibrio growth but at a low level. The areas of concern are around Kiel, Riga, Kaliningrad, Gdansk and Szczecin.
 Vibrio species such as V. parahaemolyticusV. vulnificus and non-toxigenic V. cholera can cause vibriosis infections. The most common clinical manifestations are gastroenteritis (with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea), wound infections (exposure of a cut, wound, or abrasion to contaminated seawater), primary septicaemia, and otitis externa (swimmer's ear). Vibriosis infection can be caused by consumption of shellfish, particularly raw oysters, and contact with natural bodies of waters, especially marine or estuarine waters.

Middle East respiratory syndrome – MERS
Since 9 July 2015, Saudi Arabia has reported three new MERS cases. South Korea has not reported new cases since 4 July 2015, therefore the number of cases remains at 186 including one case who travelled to China. There has been one additional death in a previously reported case, which brings the number of deaths to 36.
 
Since April 2012 and as of 16 July 2015, 1 392 cases of MERS have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 536 deaths.