Communicable disease threats report, 7-11 October 2013, week 41

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.
Errata: This version replaces the report uploaded on 14 October 2013 which had erroneous dates. The content has remained the same.

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. Some of the diseases included in this week’s report are:

West Nile virus

The current West Nile fever (WNF) season is progressing at a comparable rate to previous years within both the European Union (EU) and its neighbouring countries. As of 10 October 2013, 217 human cases of West Nile fever have been reported in the EU and 509 cases in neighbouring countries since the beginning of the 2013 transmission season. See also the latest update on ECDC’s weekly West Nile fever maps.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
 
As of 10 October 2013, there have been 141 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV worldwide, including 62 deaths. All cases have either occurred in the Middle East or have had direct links to a primary case infected in the Middle East. Twelve cases have been reported from outside the Middle East: in the UK (4), France (2), Tunisia (3), Germany (2) and Italy (1). There have been no cases reported from outside the Arabian peninsula after 1 June 2013.
 
The continued detection of MERS-CoV cases in the Middle East indicates that there is an ongoing source of infection present in the region. The source of infection and the mode of transmission have not been identified. There is therefore a continued risk of cases occurring in Europe associated with travel to the area. The risk of secondary transmission in the EU remains low and could be reduced further through screening for exposure among patients presenting with respiratory symptoms and their contacts, and strict implementation of infection prevention and control measures for patients under investigation.

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