Communicable disease threats report, Week 51, 13-19 December 2015

Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 13 - 19 December 2015

​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 13-19 December 2015 and includes updates on polio, avian influenza A(H5N1), MERS, influenza A(H7N9), Ebola virus disease, Zika virus, the influenza season 2015-2016 and public health risks associated with refugee movements in Europe. 

Executive summary

 This issue covers the period 13 to 19 December 2015 and includes updates on seasonal influenza and zika virus infections.

Seasonal influenza in Europe
Influenza activity is low in most countries of the WHO European Region, with the majority of countries reporting no activity or only sporadic influenza detections. However, two countries in Western Europe (the Netherlands and Sweden) reported regional/widespread influenza activity.

ECDC publishes its weekly monitoring on Flu News Europe.

Zika – Multistate (World)
No autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection have been reported in EU/EEA countries so far in 2015. One imported case was reported in the Netherlands in a traveller who returned from Suriname on 29 November 2015 after a 3-week holiday.
On 17 December 2015, local health authorities in Honduras reported two autochthonous cases, making this the tenth country with local transmission of the virus in the Americas.
Possible links between Zika virus infection in pregnancy and microcephaly of the foetus have been under investigation since October 2015 when the Brazilian Ministry of Health reported an unusual increase in cases of microcephaly after the Zika virus outbreak in the north-eastern states.