Communicable disease threats report, week 6, 5-11 February 2012

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)

The ECDC communicable disease threat 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

Between 5 and 11 February, three threats affecting the EU were followed. An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease associated with a hotel in Spain was identified by the European Legionnaires' Disease Surveillance Network on 13 January 2012. As of 9 February 2012, 18 cases were confirmed, 15 of them being travel-associated. Cases are from the United Kingdom (12), France (2) and Spain (4).

Local measles outbreaks were reported in the media in Spain. There have been 22 cases during the first two weeks of 2012 in Valencia and 77 cases since the beginning of January in Alicante, including 31 reported during the last week. In Romania, a measles outbreak was notified at the Theological Seminary of Arad involving 15 cases, some of whom were hospitalised in a serious condition. Neighbouring countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Belarus also reported measles outbreaks.

Influenza activity continued to increase in week 5 in a very varied way across Europe with no clear geographic progression this season. The dominant viruses remain A(H3N2)-type. Medium influenza activity was reported by nine countries and increasing clinical activity in primary care was reported by 18 countries, compared with 12 countries last week.

Influenza A(H5N1), poliomyelitis and dengue were also monitored. Even though they don’t present a major risk for the EU at the moment, vigilance remains important.

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