Communicable disease threats report, 21-27 April 2013, week 17

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

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

Measles

This week two new measles outbreaks have been reported in Italy, one in Genoa with 15 cases, of which two are hospitalised, and in Rimini  where two 5-year-old children have been hospitalised in a serious condition.

The number of people infected in the outbreak in Berlin, Germany has increased to 93, an increase of 50 compared to the first reports last week.  More than half of those identified have been hospitalised and half of the 93 are older than 16 years old. The large measles outbreaks in the north-east of England and Wales are continuing. One person with measles is reported to have died but investigations are continuing on the exact cause of death.

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. The public health authorities in the affected countries, ECDC and WHO are working together to detect the source of the infection in order to prevent additional cases.

Avian influenza A(H7N9)

The CDTR also continues to report on the recent outbreak of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China. Between 18 and 25 April 2013, 25 additional confirmed human cases of influenza A(H7N9) virus, including six deaths, have been reported. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 112 confirmed cases have been reported, of which 23 people have died. An ECDC expert was part of the joint WHO and China National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) that visited China between 19-23 April. The mission was invited to China to assess the H7N9 situation and provide recommendations on the prevention and control of the disease.

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.