Communicable disease threats report, Week 42, 11-17 October 2015

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 11 - 17 October 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

This issue covers the period 11 to 17 October 2015 and includes updates on Ebola, West Nile fever and influenza.

Ebola – West Africa outbreak

On 15 October, Guinea reported one new confirmed Ebola case. The last previously reported case in Guinea was on 27 September. Following the publication of the CDTR, WHO is reporting another case in Guinea. In Sierra Leone no new confirmed cases have been reported for four consecutive weeks.

On 9 October 2015, the UK notified an unusual late complication in an Ebola survivor. The case is a nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola virus disease on 29 December 2014, after returning from Sierra Leone. She is currently in a critical condition. As of 13 October, 62 close contacts have been identified in the UK for active follow-up, of whom 26 have received the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. ECDC updated its rapid risk assessment on the outbreak on 16 October.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that preliminary results investigating the persistence of Ebola virus in bodily fluids show that some men still produce semen samples that test positive for Ebola virus nine months after the onset of symptoms. ECDC published a comment on this study and another on sexual transmission of Ebola virus on 16 October.

West Nile fever

During the past week, Hungary reported six new cases of West Nile fever in three already affected areas: Budapest (3), Feijer (2), and Hajdu (1). Romania reported one new case in the already affected county of Ialomita. Austria reported one new case with the place of infection still under investigation. In neighbouring countries, Israel reported 25 new cases in already affected districts.

Each week ECDC publishes weekly data on West Nile fever in Europe.

Seasonal Influenza

In week 41, epidemiological data were reported by 38 countries, with nearly all reporting low influenza activity.During the influenza season, ECDC publishes weekly reports and data with WHO Europe on www.flunewseurope.org.