Communicable disease threats report, 20-26 Sep 2015, week 39

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 20 - 26 September 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 20-26 September 2015 and includes updates on West Nile fever, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).covers the period 20-26 September 2015 and includes updates on West Nile fever, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).  

West Nile fever
As of 24 September 2015, 78 cases of West Nile fever in humans have been reported in the EU Member States this season: Italy (51), Romania (11), Austria (6), Hungary (8), Bulgaria (1) and Portugal (1). Ninety-two cases have been detected in neighbouring countries: Israel (64), Russia (16), Serbia (11) and Palestine (1) since the beginning of the 2015 transmission season.
 
During the June-to-November transmission season, ECDC monitors the situation in EU Member States and neighbouring countries in order to inform blood safety authorities of West Nile fever-affected areas and identify significant changes in the epidemiology of the disease.
 
See the weekly updated West Nile fever maps for more detailed information.

Ebola virus disease
In Guinea, after 14 consecutive days with zero confirmed cases, two new confirmed cases were reported by WHO during the week up to 20 September, both in Conakry.  Both cases were not registered contacts and were tested positive for Ebola after post-mortem testing.
 
In Sierra Leone, no new confirmed cases were reported by WHO in the week up to 20 September. Over 700 contacts have been identified in association with the previous week’s reported case from Bombali. Preliminary findings suggest that a survivor may have been the source.
 
The WHO will convene the seventh Meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee concerning Ebola on 1 October 2015 to provide views on whether the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and whether the current temporary recommendations should be extended, revised, or additional recommendations should be considered.
 
Since 25 September 2015, ECDC is updating the epidemiological situation for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa only through the weekly CDTR.

Middle East respiratory syndrome
Since 17 September 2015, Saudi Arabia has reported seven additional cases and four deaths in previously reported cases, Jordan reported two additional cases and Kuwait one fatal case.
 
Since April 2012 and as of 24 September 2015, 1 607 cases of MERS have been reported by local health authorities worldwide, including 615 deaths.