Communicable disease threats report, Week 30, 19-25 July 2015

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 19 - 25 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

he 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 19-25 July 2015 and includes updates on anthrax, Schistosoma haematobium, West Nile fever, and Middle East respiratory syndrome – coronavirus (MERS CoV). 

Fatal case of anthrax following animal exposure in Bulgaria

On 18 July 2015, the Bulgarian Ministry of Health reported a fatal case of B. Anthracis in a man who handled contaminated meat whilst unprotected. Sporadic cases following the handling of contaminated meat without protection are not unexpected. Local health authorities in Bulgaria have implemented the appropriate public health measures.
ECDC does not consider there to be any remaining risk for the EU with regards to this case. 

Cluster of Schistosoma haematobium in Corsica, France (2014)

In July 2015, a study of travellers returning from Corsica reported one case of schistosomiasis presenting with eggs in the urine and one with two positive serological tests that they classified as confirmed, six cases with one positive serological test classified as probable and three cases with borderline positive serological results classified as suspected.
ECDC published an updated rapid risk assessment on 24 July 2015.

West Nile fever

During the past week, no new cases were reported in the EU. In neighbouring countries, Israel reported two cases diagnosed in June, one in the Northern district and one in the Haifa district. Israel also reported that mosquitoes positive for the virus have been detected in Mai in the south of the country. ECDC publishes weekly West Nile fever risk maps to inform blood safety authorities regarding affected areas.

Middle East respiratory syndrome – MERS

Since 16 July 2015, Saudi Arabia has reported three new cases and four deaths in previously reported cases. South Korea has not reported any new cases since 4 July.
ECDC published an epidemiological update on 22 July 2015.