Communicable disease threats report, 24-30 November 2013, week 48

surveillance report
Publication series: Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR)
Time period covered: 24 - 30 November 2013

​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

​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. Of interest in this week’s report are:

Seasonal influenza

During week 47, all 27 reporting countries recorded low influenza activity.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

This week, the Supreme Council of Health in Qatar reported three cases of MERS-CoV in camels among a herd in a Qatari barn, which is linked to two confirmed human cases that have since then recovered.Since April 2012, 160 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 69 deaths, of acute respiratory disease caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), have been reported by national health authorities.
Outbreak of poliomyelitis, Syria

On 26 November 2013, two additional cases were confirmed by WHO, one in rural Damascus and one in Aleppo, bringing the total to seventeen and confirming widespread circulation of the virus in Syria. The last confirmed case had onset of paralysis on 8 October 2013.
Influenza A(H7N9) 

During the past week, one new case has been reported in Zhejiang province in China. In March 2013, a novel avian influenza A(H7N9) virus was detected in patients in China. The outbreak affected 12 Chinese provinces and Taiwan causing 140 cases of human infection, including 45 deaths. Since the end of May 2013, only sporadic cases have been reported.