Summary of public health threats, CDTR week 21, 2016
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 22-28 May 2016, and includes updates on seasonal influenza in Europe, the Zika virus infection, the yellow fever outbreak in Africa and poliomyelitis.
Seasonal influenza – Europe
In week 20/2016, influenza activity continued to decrease in the WHO European Region. Most countries (98%) reported low intensity.
Weekly online reporting for the 2015-2016 influenza season ends this week and will start again in week 40 for the next season. During the summer months, weekly reporting continues and the Flu News Europe online bulletins will be published monthly.
Zika virus infection
As of 26 May 2016, 51 countries and territories have reported autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection during the past nine months. There is now a scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Given this scientific consensus on the evidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with Zika virus infection, ECDC recommends that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to Zika-affected areas.
During the past week, WHO AFRO reported that sequencing of the Zika virus in Cape Verde by Institut Pasteur in Dakar confirmed that the virus currently circulating in Cape Verde is the same as the one circulating in the Americas - the Asian type and was most likely imported from Brazil. This is the first time that the Asian Zika strain has been detected in Africa.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Health informed the International Olympic Committee about the measures being taken to prevent and control Zika virus infections during the Olympics.
Rapid risk assessment: Zika virus disease epidemic: potential association with microcephaly and Guillain–Barré syndrome, sixth update
Potential risks to public health related to communicable diseases at the Olympics and Paralympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016
Yellow fever outbreak – Africa
An outbreak of yellow fever in Angola started in December 2015 in the municipality of Viana, Luanda province and spread to all the 18 provinces of Angola. A mass immunisation campaign is taking place.
The neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reports imported cases of yellow fever and on 2 May the first confirmed autochthonous transmission in Kinshasa, the capital. On 5 may, DRC reported an additional autochthonous case in Kongo Central.
An outbreak of yellow fever not linked to the outbreak in Angola has been reported in several districts in Uganda.
Global public health efforts are ongoing to eradicate polio, a crippling and potentially fatal disease, by immunising every child until transmission of the virus has completely stopped and the world becomes polio-free.
During the past week, WHO reported one new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case in Pakistan. There were no official circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) cases reported.
The latest global polio epidemiology is on the agenda of the 69th World Health Assembly (Geneva, 23-28 May, 2016).
Read the full CDTR:
Influenza ranked highest in burden of disease measured in DALYs
20 Apr 2018 - Influenza tops list of burden of disease and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) with 30% of total burden, according to Eurosurveillance article.
WHO recommendations for influenza virus vaccine composition for the 2018-2019 Northern hemisphere season
26 Feb 2018 - On 19-21 February 2018 the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed on the recommended composition of the trivalent influenza vaccine for the northern hemisphere 2018-2019 influenza season; A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus, B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage). The WHO recommendations are made with a knowledge of the currently circulating viruses globally. WHO recommended two changes, compared to the current trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines for the 2017–2018 season in the northern hemisphere influenza season.
Low uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination in Europe may jeopardise capacity to protect people in next pandemic
7 Feb 2018 - Influenza vaccination coverage among high-risk groups has dropped in the European Region over the last seven years, and half the countries report a decrease in the number of vaccine doses available.