Communicable disease threats report, 24-30 January 2016, week 4

Surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 24 - 30 January 2016

​The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 24-30 January 2016 and includes updates on Zika virus, Ebola virus disease and MERS.

Executive summary

This issue covers the period from 24 to 30 January 2016 and includes updates on seasonal influenza and Zika.

Seasonal influenza in Europe

So far, the 2015–2016 influenza season has been characterised by a predominance of the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, which is known to cause more severe disease and death in younger adults compared with influenza A(H3N2).

During week 3, increased influenza activity was observed, as 29 of the 45 countries and territories that reported indicated increasing rates of influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory infection (ARI) while thirty-two countries reported influenza virus detections in specimens from ILI and ARI surveillance this week.

ECDC monitors influenza activity in Europe during the winter season and publishes its report weekly on the Flu News Europe website.

Zika

As of 28 January 2016, no autochthonous Zika virus transmission has been reported in the EU.

In 2015 and 2016, several travel-related imported cases have been reported in EU countries. These countries are Portugal, Sweden, Italy, the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria. Several outermost EU regions continue to report Zika virus autochthonous circulation in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and French Guiana, which are French overseas territories.

Zika virus infections continue spreading in previously unaffected areas of the world. Since the previous ECDC update on Zika last week, additional countries or territories have reported laboratory confirmed autochthonous transmission: Nicaragua, US Virgin Island, Dominican Republic and Curaçao.

ECDC published an updated rapid risk assessment on 22 January 2016 and an epidemiological update on Zika on 29 January 2016.