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Monitoring current threats in week 18/2013: ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)

07 May 2013

Last week, public health authorities reported on the on-going outbreak in Wales. Public Health Wales reported 503 measles cases in April, bringing the total number of notified cases in the outbreak affecting Wales since November 2012 to 1011. Public Health England, NHS England and the UK Department of Health announced on 25 April a nationwide catch-up campaign targeting 300 000 unvaccinated and 300 000 partially vaccinated 10-16 year children and teenagers.

Travel related cases of Hepatitis A
Several European countries report hepatitis A virus infection in travellers returning from Egypt. The distribution of cases over November to April suggests a persistent source for the outbreak - potentially food borne - which has not yet been identified. Fifteen EU/EEA countries have reported 104 cases with hepatitis A infections among travellers returning from Egypt. Of these, 15 cases share an identical RNA sequence. ECDC has published a rapid risk assessment. Public health authorities in the affected countries, ECDC and WHO are actively collaborating to detect the source of the infection in order to prevent the occurrence of additional cases.

Avian influenza A(H7N9)
The CDTR also continues to report on the recent outbreak of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China. Between 25 April and 02 May 2013, 16 additional confirmed human cases of influenza A(H7N9) virus, including three deaths, have been reported. Since the beginning of the outbreak there have been 128 confirmed cases, including 26 deaths.

The Chinese health authorities are responding to this public health event with enhanced surveillance, epidemiological and laboratory investigation and contact tracing. The animal health sector has intensified investigations into the possible sources and reservoirs of the virus. The authorities reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that avian influenza A(H7N9) was detected in samples from pigeons, chickens and ducks, and in environmental samples from live bird markets ('wet markets') in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces. Authorities have closed markets and culled poultry in affected areas

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.

Read the Communicable Disease Threat Report – week 18

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