Disclaimer: The opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations contained herein are those of the respective author(s) and do not reflect the official views or policies of CEEZAD.
March 1, 2024
An urgent health alert has been issued as three people were hospitalized when a serious bacterial disease was discovered on a university campus.
Two men in their 60s and one woman in her 70s were diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease after separately visiting locations around Victoria Park in Camperdown, including the University of Sydney campus.
NSW Health issued the alert on Friday urging anyone who has visited those areas in the last 10 days to monitor for symptoms including fever, chills, a cough and shortness of breath.
Legionnaires' disease is not spread from person to person, but people can become infected if they are exposed to contaminated water particles.
Uruguay: Western Equine Encephalitis
Equine encephalitis is today controlled in Uruguay, according to the latest epidemiological report from the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP).
The report shows 80 dead equines with positive diagnosis and another 244 that presented clinical symptoms.
The most affected areas are low, humid zones, with high vegetation, presence of birds and abundant mosquito activity.
The MGAP stated that "the spread of this disease is related to the weather situation, favoring the proliferation of mosquitoes carrying the virus and eager to feed on blood."
India: African Swine Fever
The Maharashtra State Animal Husbandry Department is facing a significant challenge following the detection of the African swine fever virus (ASFV) in Pune last month. ASFV, known for its highly contagious nature and 100% mortality rate among pigs, has raised concerns over its potential impact on the region's pig farming industry. Prompt measures have been implemented to contain the spread of the virus, including the euthanasia of infected animals within a 1-kilometer [0.6 mi] radius.
ASFV was first detected in the northeastern part of India in 2020, although it was successfully controlled at that time. However, its resurgence in Pune has reignited fears within the agricultural community, given the lack of effective treatments against the virus.
United States: Mpox
The School District of Philadelphia said that 8 students at the Richmond School were potentially exposed to mpox, formerly known as monkeypox.
The district said it was a "low-level exposure" and that it's "very unlikely that people with low-level exposure will develop mpox." The district added the health department notified parents out of an abundance of caution.
If you have a kid who attends the Richmond School in the Port Richmond section and wasn't notified about mpox, the district said there's no exposure risk.
"The school community has taken the necessary precautions to protect students and staff and wish to provide additional resources and information in case you have questions," principal Susan Rozanski wrote in a letter to staff at the Richmond School.
The head of the Animal Health and Disease Management Department of the General Veterinary Department of Zanjan Province said: "Equestrian clubs and horse breeding centers are under the care of Meshemesha [glanders] disease [control]. So far, [a total of] 1,110 blood and serum samples have been prepared and tested, 8 horses and affected mares were identified and destroyed [euthanized].
In an interview with IRNA reporter, Hamed Isapour added: "Meshmesha is a very deadly disease in horses, which is considered one of the common diseases between humans and animals."
He added: "The symptoms of this disease are more visible in the form of respiratory symptoms or skin injuries, of course, it is possible that the affected animal does not show any symptoms of the disease and at the same time it can transmit the disease."
China: Avian Influenza
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said that, regarding the human case of influenza A (H9) infection, the subtype of the virus infected by the 22-month-old girl was confirmed as H9N2 by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.
"According to the whole genome sequencing result, it is believed that the H9N2 virus isolated from sample of the patient are of avian origin. The relevant avian influenza virus showed no re-assortment with genes of human influenza origin. The CHP also found that the relevant H9N2 virus is sensitive to antiviral medicine Tamiflu." a spokesman for the CHP said.
The symptoms of the patient had subsided and [she] is still undergoing isolation at Princess Margaret Hospital. She is now in stable condition. Also, the CHP earlier announced that one of her home contacts had presented with upper respiratory tract infection symptoms. Her nasopharyngeal aspirate sample tested negative against influenza A virus.
Nigeria: Lassa Fever
The Ebonyi State Ministry of Health has said that Lassa fever had killed 14 people in the state. The director of public health at the ministry, Dr Hyacinth Ebenyi, gave the figure in an interview in Abakaliki.
Ebenyi said that the 14 cases were among the 29 confirmed cases of the disease recorded as of Feb. 20. He expressed concern that no fewer than 110 suspected cases of the disease were recently recorded in the state.
"Yes, there has been an increase in the cases of Lassa fever. The disease is really endemic in the state. It did not just start, it has been here, most times, during the dry season.
"So far, we have had suspected cases of 110, and out of this figure, we recorded 29 confirmed cases. Out of 29 cases, we lost 14 persons," the director said.
India: Kyasanur Forest Disease
A 57-year-old woman succumbed to Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever, in Shivamogga district [Karnataka state], taking the death toll due to the virus in Karnataka to 4 since January. She hailed from Uttara Kannada district [in Karnataka state], one of the regions affected by the virus.
The woman was admitted in ICU for the past 20 days and was on ventilator support. She had multiple issues. Total death toll in the state due to this virus has now reached 4.
According to the latest data shared by the health department, a total of 4,641 tests have been done, of which positive cases stand at 120. As many as 95 people have been discharged. As on date, there are 22 active cases. The first death due to KFD this year was reported from Hosanagara taluk of Shivamogga district wherein an 18-year-old girl succumbed to the virus. The other 2 deaths were reported in Uttara Kannada and Chikkamagaluru districts.
Senegal: West Nile Virus
On Feb. 15, the Senegal MoH reported one confirmed case of West Nile virus (WNV) from Thilogne district, Matam region. The case was a 23-year-old male with no history of travel in the last 14 days. He developed symptoms of high fever, headache, and body pains and sought medical attention at the Thilogne district health centre. Blood samples collected and tested positive for WNV using ELISA (immunoglobin M) at the lnstitut Pasteur in Dakar. The case was managed and stabilized.
WNV is a mosquito-borne zoonosis belonging to the genus Flavivirus in the Flaviviridae family. It is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Birds are the primary hosts of WNV; thus, the virus is maintained in the environment within a "bird-mosquito-bird" transmission cycle. WNV can affect birds, humans, and horses, causing inapparent infection, mild febrile illness, meningitis, encephalitis, or death. About 80% of cases in humans present with mild or no symptoms and about 20% of cases develop a fever, headache, vomiting, or a rash, while 1 % progress to severe forms of the disease with symptoms such as meningitis with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures.
Philippines: African Swine Fever
Negros Occidental province has enforced heightened border control operations to prevent the recurrence of African swine fever (ASF) after the highly urbanized Bacolod City and the neighboring Negros Oriental allowed the shipment of live pigs, pork, and other pork-related food items from other parts of the country.
In Executive Order (EO) 24-07, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson directed the total ban on the entry of these products from areas with reported cases of ASF, including this city and Negros Oriental.
He called on the Philippine National Police, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and other concerned government agencies to heighten the security and patrol of the provincial borders. "The majority of the cities and municipalities in Negros Occidental are classified as pink to light green zones and are now ready for hog repopulation and implementation of biosecurity measures to prevent the recurrence of transboundary diseases," Lacson said.
February 16, 2024
United States: Alaskapox
State health officials this week reported the 1st known fatal case of Alaskapox in an immune-compromised Kenai Peninsula man who was undergoing treatment in Anchorage when he died in late January.
Health officials say the recently discovered species of the double-stranded-DNA virus first identified in Alaska in 2015 comes from the same genus as smallpox, monkeypox and cowpox. It occurs mostly in small mammals like voles and shrews.
The man is 1 of 7 reported Alaskapox infections to date, according to an Alaska Section of Epidemiology bulletin that provides information about the death.
The fatal case, which took months to diagnose, is significant because Alaskapox had previously only resulted in mild infections, state health officials say. It's also significant because the case was reported outside of the Fairbanks area for the 1st time.
It's likely the man's immunocompromised status contributed to the severity of his illness, officials say.
Cambodia: Avian Influenza
A 9-year-old Cambodian boy has died from bird flu, the kingdom's health ministry said, warning of a continuing threat from the virus that killed 3 other people last year.
The boy in northeastern Kratie province fell ill after eating poultry with his family, suffering fever, coughing and breathing difficulties before dying. The ministry said tests confirmed the boy died from the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus.
"According to the evidence, 5 chickens and 3 ducks had died at the patient's home, and they cooked the chickens and ducks for food to eat," the ministry said in a statement. It said health officials were investigating the source of the virus and searching for more cases.
"The ministry of health again reminds all people to be vigilant about bird flu because H5N1 continues to threaten the health of our people," the statement added.
Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said that the state has registered an increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases, with injecting of drugs being the main cause.
He affirmed in the Assembly that the government, with help from NGOs, has been working with HIV-positive persons. However, the details were not disclosed to maintain the anonymity of the patients.
Congress MLA [Member of the Legislative Assembly] Sibamoni Bora raised the matter of the prevalence of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) patients in the state during Question Hour, claiming that there has been a spike in fresh infections. She claimed that around 50% of the drug peddlers are themselves infected.
Ms. Bora alleged that the government has been less focused on spreading awareness of HIV since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Mahanta, in his reply, said that 31,729 HIV-AIDS cases were detected in the state from 8,984,519 tests conducted between 2002 and 2023.
The Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has confirmed a 1st case of serotype 4 of the Bluetongue virus in Orihuela, after receiving notification from the Central Veterinary Laboratory of Algete of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the positive result of a sample in a cattle farm in the municipality.
The Department of Agriculture has immediately implemented prevention, surveillance and control measures in the area to prevent the spread of the disease, as stated in the Annual Animal Health Plan for 2024. In addition, it has established mandatory vaccination against the serotype 4 of the Bluetongue virus for all animals over 3 months of age of the ovine and bovine species throughout the province of Alicante. To this end, an emergency action will be carried out to purchase the 1st 120,000 doses of the vaccine.
Official notification has also been made to the European Commission, the rest of the Autonomous Communities and sectors involved.
The circulation of serotype 4 of the virus has been detected in a sentinel cattle farm, within the framework of active surveillance established through the national surveillance, control and eradication program of Bluetongue, which includes early detection through monitoring and control of sensitive animals located in sentinel farms.
Anthrax has been confirmed as the cause of death in several animals on a single cattle property located northeast of Shepparton. The affected property was immediately quarantined, the carcass safely disposed of and the remaining cattle on the property are undergoing vaccination.
Outbreaks of anthrax have previously been confirmed in this area and sporadic cases are not unusual in northern Victoria.
This incident again highlights the importance of early reporting and the need to consider anthrax as a differential diagnosis whenever unexplained sudden death occurs in sheep, cattle or other susceptible species in Victoria.
A 14-year-old gelding at a boarding facility in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario, was confirmed positive for strangles. The horse developed a swollen left submandibular lymph node and displayed bilateral nasal discharge. He is now recovering, and 2 additional horses are exposed.
The affected horses are under voluntary quarantine.
Kenya: Rift Valley Fever
An outbreak of the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) has been reported in Marsabit County, with the government sounding an alert to residents to be vigilant, so as not to contract the deadly virus.
Marsabit County Deputy Governor, Solomon Gubo, said that 4 positive cases out of 43 samples already analyzed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), have been confirmed positive.
Gubo, during the County Steering Group (DSG) meeting held at Jirme Hotel, said that 2 cases of livestock out of 8 samples that were sent to the same laboratories also turned positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
All the confirmed cases were from Shurr area, Turbi-Bubisa Ward in North Horr Constituency, where many animal abortions have also been recorded.
The Deputy Governor expressed concern that the Devolved Unit capacity to contain the deadly virus, was inadequate and appealed to the National Government and other partners, to make interventions, as a matter of urgency.
United Kingdom: Pertussis
In the last week the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has received notifications of 319 suspected cases of pertussis (whooping cough). This is a rise of 20% from the previous week and the highest number of weekly cases since before the pandemic. That brings the running total to 979 cases so far in 2024, more than 20 times higher than the 44 cases seen during the first 4 weeks of 2023. These figures show the number of statutory notices that GPs are required to send to the UKHSA when they diagnose a suspected case of pertussis.
Just over 1 in 5 cases seen so far in 2024 have been diagnosed in Wales, a total of 212, more than any region of England. That includes 77 in Wales in the past week, which was again higher than any region of England and a 48% increase on the previous week. But case numbers are now rising faster in the East Midlands, where the weekly count tripled to 30 last week, and in Yorkshire and Humberside, where cases almost doubled to 44. Infections also increased in the East of England and the South East but fell in all the remaining regions of England.
While Cornwall has got off lightly so far, Swansea has seen the most cases so far in 2024 (29), but Vale of Glamorgan has seen the most in the last week (14).
Japan: Avian Influenza
About 14,000 birds have been culled in the southern Japanese prefecture of Kagoshima after an avian influenza outbreak was confirmed, local authorities said.
The bird flu has been confirmed on a poultry farm in the Minamisatsuma City of Kagoshima, according to the prefectural government, adding that the culling operations for it and nearby farms under the same management were completed within a short span.
Burial of the culled birds and disinfection of the poultry houses are expected to conclude within the next few days, and the national authorities are expected to determine whether the virus is highly pathogenic. To prevent further spread of the infection, the prefecture has imposed restrictions on the movement of approximately 363,000 chickens and quails being raised at 15 farms within a radius of 3 km [1.9 mi] to 10 km [6.2 mi] from the affected area.
Following genetic testing, which confirmed the virus, the prefectural authorities initiated the culling process.
South Sudan: Yellow Fever
In response to the confirmed outbreak of yellow fever, with 2 laboratory-confirmed cases identified in Western Equatoria State, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and other partners, has initiated a reactive Yellow Fever vaccination campaign as part of preventive response intervention.
Yellow fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, poses a significant public health threat. Characterized by symptoms such as fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, the disease can lead to severe complications, with approximately half of patients succumbing within 7 to 10 days.
Seven cases of measles have been detected in the commune of Kaolack. The announcement was made by the Chief Medical Officer of the Kaolack Health District.
According to Dr. Niène Seck, this measles outbreak occurred as part of epidemiological surveillance. "We recorded confirmed cases of measles in the commune of Kaolack. In total, we have recorded 7 confirmed cases of measles, which have been well treated in health facilities," he emphasized.
To prevent the spread of the disease, a vaccination campaign was launched by the health district, vaccinating over 6,000 children. "We carried out a vaccination campaign in 5 health posts in the Kaolack and Kahone districts last weekend, which enabled us to vaccinate over 6,000 children aged between 6 and 59 months to help contain the epidemic because we know that measles is a highly contagious and very serious disease, as it can cause deaths and complications," added the chief physician of the Kaolack health district.
India: Kyasanur Forest Disease
The number of KFD cases has been increasing. On Monday, 13 fresh cases were reported in Karnataka. Of them, 7 were reported in Chikkamagaluru district and 6 in Shivamogga district.
According to the bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department, so far, 63 people have been discharged from hospitals and 24 are under treatment. So far, 2 people, one each from Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru, died due to the infection.
Since Jan. 1, Uttara Kannada district has reported 38 cases, of which 36 recovered and 2 are under treatment. In Shivamogga [district], 32 cases were reported, and among them, 21 recovered and 10 are under treatment. One person died. In Chikkamagaluru [district], so far, 19 cases have been reported, and among the 6 recovered, 12 are under treatment. One person died.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Gundu Rao has instructed the officials to admit all positive cases to the hospital for treatment. He has also appealed to the public in the affected areas to be cautious about the spread of the disease. He asked the people to consult the doctors immediately if they developed symptoms of KFD.
Uruguay: Western Equine Encephalitis
Equine encephalitis added the 4th case of human infection in Uruguay, according to a report from the Ministry of Public Health (MSP).
The case is a 73 year-old man from the department of Maldonado whose situation is being followed up.
The MSP weekly report indicates that there are 17 suspected cases of the disease: 5 in Montevideo, 3 in San José, 2 in Canelones, Río Negro and Soriano, and one each in Artigas, Paysandú and Rocha.
Of the 4 confirmed cases, a man detected in January in Montevideo is being followed up, while 2 patients registered in the neighboring department of San José have been discharged from the hospital.
February 2, 2024
Cameroon launched the world's first routine vaccine program against malaria. It is one of 20 African countries planning to introduce the drug this year, according to global vaccine alliance Gavi.
Algeria: Foot and Mouth Disease
The vaccination campaign against foot-and-mouth disease continues throughout the wilaya of Tizi Ouzou. Almost 80% of the wilaya's cattle had been vaccinated, thanks to the mobilization of local authorities and the services concerned, notably the agricultural and veterinary services. In parallel with the vaccination, which will be reinforced by a second campaign, urgent measures have been taken to contain this devastating disease if it is not effectively managed.
In fact, the campaign, which is now drawing to a close, involved some 48,462 head of cattle belonging to some 4,516 breeders in all the communes of the Tizi-Ouzou wilaya. Veterinary services have already received 50,000 doses of vaccine against this disease affecting cattle, while another quota of no less than 14,000 doses has just been received and will be distributed in the coming hours.
Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, once controlled in the Maldives, has reemerged with 3 confirmed cases identified in Ga. Villingili.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said contact tracing is being carried out jointly by Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and Gaafu Alifu Atoll Hospital. Antibiotic prophylaxis will be administered to infants and pregnant women who had contact with the infected individuals.
The Gaafu Alifu Atoll Hospital has formed a special task force to contain the spread of the disease, closely coordinating efforts with relevant entities on the island.
Kenya: Rift Valley Fever
Acting Director General for Health Patrick Amoth has called on the counties to be on high alert after a case of Rift Valley fever (RVF) was confirmed in a human.
The case, according to a circular to all county directors of health, was confirmed in an individual from Turbi in North Horr Subcounty in Marsabit County.
This marks the first reported human case in the country, with Amoth saying experts are conducting further investigations to ascertain if there might be any additional cases and assess the extent of the outbreak.
The DG is now calling on the counties to be on high alert for a potential spread of the disease, given the reported increase in mosquito population nationwide and the movement of livestock.
United Kingdom: Pertussis
Cases of the '100-day cough' have soared to their highest level in a decade amid a nationwide surge, MailOnline can reveal.
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) chiefs have received reports of 636 suspected cases of whooping cough in England and Wales so far in 2024.
It marks the biggest toll in the 1st 3 weeks of a year since comparable records began, with rates two-and-a-half times greater than pre-pandemic.
The surge in the bug, which causes a cough notoriously hard to shake off, comes in the face of a slump in vaccination rates. Uptake of the 6-in-1 jab, given to babies in their 1st few months of life, are at an all-time low.
Vietnam: African Swine Fever
Farmers raising swine are facing the persistent threat of the African swine fever pandemic, which has been ravaging their herds throughout the final months of 2023 in southern Viet Nam.
Alongside this challenge, an unfortunate increase in animal feed prices has compounded the difficulties faced by these farmers. The economic impact intensified as feed prices for animals increased simultaneously, causing substantial losses for farmers.
Nguyen Dinh Xuyen, deputy chief of the livestock and veterinary unit of Kien Giang Province, reported 12 outbreaks of African swine fever in 5 districts in 2023, necessitating the destruction of 168 pigs. Despite the outbreaks, the disease has not reappeared after 21 days, and Xuyen made reassurances that the supply of pigs would not be significantly impacted.
Bangladesh: Nipah Virus
A Nipah virus patient from Manikganj has died in hospital care in Dhaka, the first fatality from the disease reported in Bangladesh this year.
The patient was admitted to Manikganj Sadar Hospital and then transferred to Popular Hospital in Dhaka when his condition deteriorated.
The private hospital sent his samples to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and the test results turned positive.
Brazil: Western Equine Encephalitis
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Sustainable Production and Irrigation (Seapi) received confirmation of the positive diagnosis of western equine encephalitis (WEE) in the municipality of Barra do Quaraí, on the western border of the state. It is the first case of the disease registered in Rio Grande do Sul.
The sample was sent to the Federal Agricultural Defense Laboratory of Minas Gerais (LFDA/MG). The Department of Animal Health Surveillance and Defense (DDA/Seapi) since last year has been closely monitoring the cases of WEE confirmed in Argentina and maintains surveillance and a level of attention throughout the state.
WEE is caused by a virus of the Alphavirus genus, and transmission occurs through the bite of the mosquito vectors Culex spp. or Aedes spp. Although it is considered a zoonosis -- that is, a disease that can affect animals but also humans -- transmission does not occur between horses or between horses and humans.
The State Health Surveillance Center (Cevs) issued an alert confirming an imported case of measles in Rio Grande do Sul. The patient is a 3-year-old boy who arrived from Pakistan, in the south of the Asian continent, without having been vaccinated.
With the confirmation, the Department of Health reinforces the recommendation to administer the triple viral vaccine (measles, rubella, and mumps), offered free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS) to the population from one year of age and up to 59 years of age, in accordance with the national vaccination calendar, in municipal health units.
Uruguay: Western Equine Encephalitis
Uruguay´s Public Health Ministry reported the 1st case of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus (WEEV) in humans.
According to MSP, the patient is "progressing favorably".
The MSP reiterated health measures to prevent WEEV spread.
Uruguay´s Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) Ministry reported the deaths of 71 horses confirmed with encephalitis.
Since then, MGAP experts visited 527 establishments, where 15,130 equines live.
Libya: Lumpy Skin Disease
The director of the Livestock Department in Al Jabal al Akhdar region, Saleh Suleiman Boumbarka, confirmed that more than 100 head of cows had died in the municipality of Al-Bayda as a result of the lumpy skin disease, noting that 950 cases of the disease had been recorded among cows and calves in the city and its suburbs.
Boumbarka said in a statement to "Bawabat Al-Wasat" that they lack the most basic capabilities to combat the lumpy skin disease that spread in the city and its suburbs after the storm "Daniel" swept the areas of Jabal Al-Akhdar in September 2023.
Boumbarka called on the responsible authorities in the state to provide resources such as pesticides, vaccines, and medications to limit the spread of the disease.
China: Avian Influenza
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is closely monitoring a human case co-infected with avian influenza A(H10N5) and influenza A(H3N2) in Zhejiang Province of the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
The case involves a 63-year-old female with underlying medical problems, who developed symptoms and was admitted for treatment. She passed away. Her relevant close contacts did not show any abnormalities during the medical surveillance period.
According to information from the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration, the genetic analysis revealed that the genes of the H10N5 virus were of avian origin while the risk of H10N5 virus infection in humans is low, and human-to-human transmission has not been observed.
South Sudan: Yellow Fever
Health officials have reported a yellow fever outbreak in Western Equatoria State, with 30 total cases (1 confirmed, 29 suspected) reported. The last outbreak reported in South Sudan occurred in 2022 when 2 cases were reported.
January 26, 2024
A case of the highly contagious disease measles has been identified in Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said one case of measles had been confirmed in a Saskatoon resident who had travelled overseas. Measles is a nationally notifiable disease in Canada.
Symptoms of measles can include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, fatigue, and irritability. Small, white spots form inside the mouth and throat, and a red blotchy rash develops on the face and spreads down the body about 3 to 7 days after symptoms begin. The rash can last 4 to 7 days.
United States: Measles
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated resident of the metro Atlanta area. The individual was exposed to measles while traveling out of the country. DPH is working to identify anyone who may have had contact with the individual while they were infectious.
Measles is very contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles virus can stay in the air or on surfaces for up to 2 hours after an infected person has left the room.
United Kingdom: Measles
An urgent vaccination drive is needed to ward off a growing wave of measles outbreaks, health chiefs said.
Declaring an official 'national incident', the UK Health Security Agency warned that too few youngsters were protected against the potentially deadly virus.
Jenny Harries, the agency's chief executive, urged parents to check whether their children had had the measles, mumps and rubella jab and said the UK was on a 'trajectory for everything getting much worse'.
It is a far cry from 2016, when Britain was declared measles-free by the World Health Organization.
The disease, which causes flu-like symptoms and a nasty rash, proves fatal in roughly 1 in every 5,000 cases.
United Kingdom: Bluetongue
A case of bluetongue confirmed in a sheep has brought the total number of cases in England to 52 on 29 different premises. The case was confirmed near Aylesham within the existing temporary control zone (TCZ) in northeast Kent.
This is only the 3rd case of the disease to be confirmed in a sheep. The other cases have been confirmed in cattle.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the positive animal will be humanely culled to minimize the risk of onward transmission.
"The TCZ is not being extended, and movement restrictions continue to apply to cattle, sheep, deer, camelids, and other ruminants in the zone," the department said.
A 19-month-old child who was not vaccinated was treated for infection by serology and detection of the measles virus, the Ministry of Health, Salta, reported.
A private health worker from Salta notified the National Health Surveillance System of a case of febrile exanthematous illness, suspected of measles, for which the epidemiological investigation and control actions began. This is a child who was not vaccinated against measles, had no travel history, and, from the initial investigation, there was no contact with suspected cases before the onset of symptoms
"The child presented fever, rash, cough, and conjunctivitis; 3 days later he consulted and was hospitalized for pneumonia in a private clinic, presenting isolation of pneumococcus in a respiratory sample. A serum sample was taken, and positive IgM for measles was reported in a private laboratory," said spokespersons for the Salta health ministry.
Thailand: Zika virus
Public health authorities in Nakhon Ratchasima province are on alert for a potential Zika virus outbreak after 19 cases were reported in the lower Northeast region. The cases included 14 in Surin and 5 in Nakhon Ratchasima, with most patients being under 14 years of age.
Across Thailand, the Zika virus has affected at least 758 individuals in 36 provinces, with Chanthaburi, Phetchabun, and Trat experiencing the highest number of infections. Nakhon Ratchasima-based Region 9 Disease Control Office Director Dr. Taweechai Wisanuyothin said Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes, similar to dengue fever and chikungunya viruses.
Symptoms of the Zika virus include rashes, fever, headaches, and joint and muscle pains. The public, especially pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, are advised to seek medical attention if they exhibit these symptoms due to the risk of birth defects or developmental delays in infants.
Czech Republic; Diphtheria
A case of diphtheria was confirmed in Olomouc. The woman was apparently infected by a pet.
Diphtheria is a very serious acute febrile disease that was eradicated, thanks to the introduction of compulsory vaccination in the former Czechoslovakia. After a long time, its occurrence was again proven in the Olomouc[ky] region. Epidemiologists took appropriate measures. Experts recommend revaccination.
Hundreds of people, mainly children, died from a serious infection caused by the bacterium, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, during the biggest epidemics during the Second World War. After compulsory vaccination was introduced in what was then Czechoslovakia in 1946, the number of cases dropped rapidly.
After disappearing for more than 30 years in Guinea, cases of diphtheria are on the rise. Development Diaries reports that Guinea is facing a shortage of vaccines for the disease and lacks health professionals with knowledge of treating the disease.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that attacks the respiratory tract. Airborne droplets transmit it and can be fatal, especially for small children. If an antitoxin is not administered quickly, the fast-growing pseudo membrane can soon block an infected person's airways, leaving them struggling to breathe. It can be life-threatening.
The lack of resources to tackle the disease is a big challenge that must be addressed immediately to avoid a health crisis in the West African country.
Authorities in Kazo District have confirmed an outbreak of Anthrax in Mirama village, Kazo sub-county. This has raised concerns, particularly among those reliant on selling animals and animal products for their livelihoods.
John Baptist Asiimwe, the district production officer, revealed that of the 7 samples sent to Entebbe for testing, 4 returned positive for anthrax, Bacillus anthracis.
To contain the spread of the disease, Asiimwe outlined several measures. These include registering all meat handlers in the district, ensuring that they possess health certificates before handling meat, enforcing the requirement for cattle traders to have licenses issued by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry for buying and selling animals within the district, and conducting ring vaccination of all suspected animal species. Asiimwe mentioned that they are coordinating with ministry officials to secure vaccines for the vaccination of all animals in the district.
Venezuela faces an alarming resurgence of malaria. The report by the NGO SOS Orinoco reveals the tragic reality: 85 Yanomami indigenous people have lost their lives due to malaria in various communities in the Sierra Parima, Amazonas State.
Epidemiologist Francisco Leal warns that malaria has also become endemic in the state of Falcón, pointing out that this infectious disease persists in the region, permanently affecting the population. This situation could lead to Falcón being declared the 17th Venezuelan state endemic for malaria.
Health authorities have confirmed 134 cases, 86 of which are native and 48 from Zulia. The lack of surveillance and control of the health system is blamed for the outbreak.
Argentina: Westerrn Equine Encephalitis
Western equine encephalitis has so far claimed 2 lives in the Buenos Aires territory since the outbreak began, while 15 cases were confirmed, of which one is from the district of Nueve de Julio.
According to the Epidemiological Bulletin, the first death in the province occurred on Jan. 11, and the next day the second death occurred. These are 2 women who suffered: one, 74 years old, who appeared to have diabetes, and the other one, 65, with no other pathologies. Both lived in "semi-rural areas."
According to the latest Epidemiological Bulletin, 96 suspected cases were reported of which 15 were confirmed.
January 19, 2024
Argentina: Western Equine Encephalitis
The Buenos Aires provincial Ministry of Health confirmed the first death from equine encephalitis in the Buenos Aires territory, a disease transmitted by mosquito bites. "Currently, the Buenos Aires province has 10 cases, of which all required hospitalization, 4 of them were discharged, 5 remain hospitalized and 1 died," the latest epidemiological report indicated.
According to that information, the deceased patient was a 74-year-old woman from a semi-rural area who had co-morbidities. "She began with symptoms in mid-December, so she was admitted in fair general condition with deterioration of her underlying disease and progressive sensory alteration, requiring admission to intensive care with mechanical ventilatory assistance within the first 48 hours," they stated.
This is the second death in the country recorded due to this disease. The first occurred at the beginning of this year and was confirmed by the Ministry of Health in the province of Santa Fe. It was a 66-year-old man, originally from the south-central area of the province, who had health conditions that complicated his situation, as reported by the Santa Fe Government.
Zanzibar was already accelerating to eliminating malaria, the global killer disease. Most of the interventions appeared to work and the prevalence rate was 0.4% for at least a decade.
But the increase in malaria cases between October and December last year, down to this year was a shock to the health authorities in the Islands, where the hospital ward at Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital has been filled with patients battling for their lives.
The Isles Minister of Health, Nassor Ahmed Mazrui had in mid-December last year said at a press conference that 3 people had died from malaria, but 2 weeks later he was quoted saying that the death toll had increased to 36 people.
Malaria cases increased from 3,223 people to 3,563 positives in June last year, while those hospitalized increased from 282 to 423 in the same period. "After a long period of time without malaria, the immunity of Zanzibaris against the disease has gone down, leading to many people becoming easily affected," Mazrui said, adding that the government had quickly solicited medicine to treat people.
Hospitals in Bangladesh have recorded 17 new cases of dengue fever in a day, taking the tally of infections since Jan. 1 to 607 after the worst outbreak last year.
The death toll remained unchanged at 4.
The new cases included 10 in Dhaka [capital of Bangladesh]. The capital also accounted for 134 of the 279 dengue patients undergoing treatment at hospitals.
In 2023, Bangladesh recorded 1,705 deaths from the viral disease and the outbreak has continued this year.
Rising temperatures, along with a lack of effective measures to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the known carrier of the virus, are seen as the reasons behind the deadliest outbreak last year.
French Polynesia: Leptospirosis
Eight cases of leptospirosis were identified during the first week of 2024 in Tahiti, Raiatea and Huahine.
It is an "epidemic wave" which can be attributed to the rainy episodes that have occurred recently in the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands, estimate the health authorities in the latest weekly monitoring bulletin released by the Directorate of Health. Eight cases of leptospirosis -- a record figure over a week -- were identified in 39 samples. Of these 8 infections, 5 hospitalizations were reported, for a hospitalization rate of 62.5%.
Among the 117 cases reported in 2023, the majority (64%) are active men aged 15 to 65. The majority of cases are located in Tahiti (60%), Raiatea (22%) and Huahine (6%). Two deaths from leptospirosis were reported in 2023: one in week 44 (a person over 60 years old) and one in week 51 (a person over 55 years old).
Nigeria: Lassa Fever
The Nigerian government has said the country recorded 1,227 confirmed cases and 219 deaths of Lassa fever across 28 states in 2023.
The data is contained in the latest report by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The situation report published on the website of NCDC shows an increase in confirmed cases and fatalities recorded in 2023 when compared to 1,055 cases and 189 deaths recorded within the same period in 2022
Finland: Tick-borne Encephalitis
Finland saw a significant increase in tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) cases last year, according to the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
The National Infectious Diseases Register recorded a total of 160 cases of TBE in 2023, or 37 more cases than in 2022.
There were 148 cases in 2021 and fewer than 100 annual cases in previous years, THL noted.
However, the agency pointed out that last year's total is actually not comparable to those in recent years, as its monitoring period ended in mid-September. In past years, such monitoring included the entire calendar year.
Cambodia: African Swine Fever
Authorities are on the alert for African swine fever, a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting pigs. Ministry of Agriculture officials have started investigations and taken proactive measures in Svay Rieng province's Kampong Ror district where many pigs have died from the disease
The officials have collected samples from the pigs' carcasses for analysis in Phnom Penh to find the root causes of the deaths. To mitigate the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture's General Department of Animal Health worked with the local authorities to spray disinfectant in pig farms.
Even though African swine fever is not a threat to human health -- it cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans -- and a food safety issue, the death of the pigs has raised concerns as farmers are reportedly refusing to bury the dead pigs but are instead selling the pork to residents.
Ministry of Agriculture spokeswoman Im Rachna said more than 70 pigs have died from the suspected disease and that samples of the animals have been collected for laboratory analysis.
South Sudan: Cholera
The Department of Emergencies and Epidemic Control, Sudanese Ministry of Health, River Nile state, has announced the detection of 4 new cases of cholera in Atbara locality and 6 cases in Eldamir locality, with the cumulative number of confirmed cholera cases reaching 10 cases in the state according to local media sources.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Currently Sudan is experiencing an ongoing armed conflict in most of its states, with huge numbers of displaced people living in camps who are at high risk of cholera disease because of overcrowding and poor hygiene and sanitation conditions.
China: Avian Influenza
A 59-year-old woman from China's Sichuan province is hospitalized in serious condition with H5N6 avian flu, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection said.
The woman is from Ziyang City. An investigation revealed that she had visited a live-poultry market before her symptoms began.
Her illness marks China's 8th human H5N6 infection of 2023 and the country's 89th since the virus was first detected in humans in 2014. China reported its last H5N6 case in the middle of December, which also involved a woman from Sichuan province. That patient, who died from her infection, had also visited a live-poultry market before she became ill.
Highly pathogenic H5N6 avian flu is known to circulate in poultry in some Asian countries, but only China and Laos have reported human cases, which are often severe or fatal. Most patients have had contact with poultry or had been exposed to poultry environments.
Montenegro: African Swine Fever
The presence of the African swine fever virus, for the 1st time in Montenegro, has been confirmed in 2 dead wild boar, found in the territory of the municipality of Nikšić, in the border area with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The "Nikšić" Veterinary Clinic, on Jan.12 received information about the discovery of 2 dead wild boars from the Bratogošt hunting society. Upon receipt of the notification, VA Nikšić, by order of the veterinary inspector, in cooperation with the hunting society, carried out sampling and harmless removal of the carcasses.
Appropriate samples for laboratory testing were delivered to the Specialist Veterinary Laboratory in Podgorica, which immediately upon receipt performed the necessary diagnostic tests. On 14 Jan 2024, the Specialist Veterinary Laboratory confirmed the presence of the African swine fever virus in the samples of both carcasses through prescribed diagnostic tests.
According to data from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), the disease has been present in Europe since 2007 and is spreading unstoppably across the European continent in domestic and wild pigs
An 80-year-old tourist and former judge in the United States, died of malaria at the Fernández Hospital in the City of Buenos Aires. The man was urgently admitted to the Buenos Aires facility and died a few minutes later. He was returning from Ushuaia, but previously he passed through several countries, so there is no data yet on where he contracted the disease.
The United States embassy and consulate are closely monitoring this death.
Algeria: Foot and Mouth Disease
The Directorate of Agriculture in Tébessa decided to extend the period of closure of livestock markets until further notice, justifying its decision to establish a new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in one of its municipalities.
According to the provincial director of agriculture, Mokhtar Marzouk, the extension of the Dec. 24 decision to close livestock markets in the state was dictated by the sector's need for more time to complete the process of vaccinating livestock as well as containing foot-and-mouth disease, which appeared in the 1st focus in the municipality of Ogla Melha and was recently strengthened by a new focus in the municipality of El Houidjbet.
January 12, 2024
Nigeria: Lassa Fever
There have been 5 deaths recorded at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, Makurdi due to suspected Lassa fever cases in the state.
The outbreak came a few weeks after Vanguard reported that individuals were importing live rats into the state for sale from other northern states where rats are not delicacies.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Dr. Stephen Hwande, said of the 5 deaths, only 3 were confirmed Lassa fever cases, as 2 others were not confirmed before they died, adding that 5 other cases have been isolated with one of them returning positive.
The CMD, who made this known in Makurdi, called for caution, warning that everyone must apply all safety measures. He advised the people to keep their surroundings clean and stop the habit of drying their foodstuffs where rodents could feast and defecate on them.
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating an imported cluster of bacillary dysentery infection affecting 6 persons, and reminded members of the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent infection.
The cluster involves 3 male and 3 female participants of a tour group which traveled from Hong Kong to Türkiye. The 6 of them, aged between 38 and 60, presented with symptoms of acute gastroenteritis including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting beginning on 21 Dec 2023. Four of them sought medical consultation and one of them required hospitalization. All the affected persons are in stable condition. The stool specimens of one person yielded Shigella sonnei.
An epidemiological investigation by the CHP revealed that the tour group comprised 10 persons and had stayed in Türkey. They had meals at various restaurants and hotels there.
Philippines; African Swine Fever
Cases of hog cholera and African swine fever (ASF) in Negros Occidental are now under control, the provincial veterinary office declared.
Provincial veterinarian Placeda Lemana said no swine mortality has been recorded since September. However, Lemana said a ban on
hogs and pork products from ASF-affected areas remains in place. She said Negros Occidental could not ship hogs to other provinces yet as the Department of Agriculture has not issued a certificate to prove that the province is ASF-free.
Negros Occidental is the 2nd largest swine producer in the country. Lemana said a sentinel program would be implemented in the 1st quarter of 2024 to detect the presence of swine diseases in the province.
She said hog repopulation in the province would start in the 2nd quarter. Meanwhile, a pork ban is in effect in Silago, Southern Leyte after ASF was detected in 11 of its 15 barangays.
United States: Avian Influenza
Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial poultry facility in Muskegon County, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development [MDARD] announced.
While the human public health risk associated with avian influenza is low, state officials encouraged all bird owners to take preventative measures to protect their flocks.
The disease was first detected in Michigan last year, and this is the 2nd case in a commercial facility in Muskegon County. Another case was reported in northern Michigan earlier this month, and there was a larger outbreak in 2022.
The virus is highly contagious among birds and can be spread by wild birds as well as through contact with infected poultry, equipment, and the clothing of caretakers, officials said.
Zambia has experienced multiple cholera outbreaks since January 2023, affecting 20 districts and rapidly reaching Lusaka urban/peri-urban areas. The Zambia National Public Health Institute reported an outbreak of cholera in Lusaka in October 2023.
As of Jan. 2, Zambia has recorded 3,757 confirmed cases and 128 deaths, with a case-fatality rate of 3.4%. Of particular concern is the evolution of the outbreak in Lusaka, where in just a week, the Ministry of Health reported an increase of 71.2% in cases and of 175% in deaths.
Australia: Japanese Encephalitis
Health authorities are warning people to protect themselves after a mosquito-borne virus was detected in NSW.
Mosquito populations are thriving in NSW right now after persistent wet, warm weather over the holiday period.
A positive result for Japanese encephalitis was detected during routine testing in the Menindee in late December.
NSW Health Acting Director of Environmental Health Paul Byleveld said as more people spend time outdoors, it's important to take steps to reduce mosquito bite risk.
Japan: Avian Influenza
Central Japan started culling about 50,000 birds after the region confirmed the 1st highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak of this season, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan.
A highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak, the 6th reported case in Japan, has been confirmed on a farm housing about 50,000 chickens in the city of Yamagata in Gifu prefecture after local authorities received reports of an increased mortality rate among chickens at the farm, prompting swift action, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.
The transportation of poultry and egg products within a 10 km [6.2 mi] radius of the outbreak's epicenter from the affected farm to areas outside the designated zone was restricted.
Approximately 158,000 birds across 25 poultry farms within this restricted zone will be subject to limitations on movement and transportation. The bird flu season in Japan typically begins in October each year.
The Department of Veterinary Services has put farmers on high alert following an anthrax outbreak that has reportedly claimed 36 cattle in hotspot districts, so far.
The latest outbreak in both Zimbabwe and Zambia has been traced to hippopotamuses from Kariba and the Zambezi basin.
Acting chief director of veterinary services Pius Makaya confirmed the country is currently faced with the zoonotic disease, which affects both humans and animals.
"Zimbabwe is currently faced with the problem of anthrax. Animals are infected when they ingest anthrax spores when grazing while humans are affected if they consume animals, especially cattle, infected with anthrax.
Italy: Newcastle Disease
Avian alert in Tratalias: Numerous species of birds have been affected by Newcastle disease, also known as avian pseudoplague. It is one of the most feared diseases affecting birds, enough to trigger an emergency.
Experts have explained that it is a disease that can affect, as in this case, various species of birds, with the risk that it could also spread to other species of domestic birds and poultry. The infection, with high viral loads, can also affect humans through direct contact, causing conjunctivitis, a symptom that appears 24 hours after contact.
The mayor of Tratalias, Emanuele Pes, as soon as the 1st reports arrived to the local police from citizens regarding the discovery of some dead birds in the town, immediately contacted the Public Hygiene Office.
Libya: Foot and Mouth Disease
The director of Livestock Department in Jabal Al Akhdar, Saleh Boumubaraka, has announced that 25 cases of foot-and-mouth disease have been recorded among cows, including the death of more than 10 young calves, in light of the lack of medicines to combat the disease so far.
In media statements, Boumubaraka explained that more than 2 weeks ago, the Environmental Sanitation Agency stopped inspecting meat and cows before slaughter, and sealing valid meat, due to lack of capabilities and lack of assistance from the competent authorities.
He pointed out that infections in the city of Al-Bayda are widespread and have now spread to the municipality of Omar Al-Mukhtar and its neighbouring areas, and that infections are at 70%. Mortality is increasing significantly, not to mention miscarriages and infertility due to the disease. Cases of lumpy skin disease have exceeded 530, and more than 65 have died over 2 months.
Algeria: Foot and Mouth Disease
An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was reported at the end of last week in the wilaya of Bouira. Cases of the disease affecting cattle were detected in a livestock farm in the locality of Iwakouren in the commune of M'chedallah, Mrs. Benbelkacem Djamila, veterinary inspector for the Agricultural Services Department (DSA), told El Watan.
"Eight head of cattle out of 14 identified were affected by the disease," she added, pointing out that the cattle from the suspect farm had been sequestered and placed in isolation to ensure their good health and avoid contact with other animals. Although the cases in question remain unconfirmed, safety measures have been taken by the inspection services to avoid any possible spread of the disease.
Since the 1st cases appeared in the 2 wilayas of Sétif and M'sila, local authorities have decided to close all livestock markets in the region as a precautionary measure. In addition to this measure to prevent the spread of the disease, a vaccination campaign against foot-and-mouth disease has been launched, according to the same source. The veterinary inspector specified that nearly 14,360 head of cattle had been vaccinated on existing farms in the wilaya.
New cases of mpox have been detected in Israel, according to the Israeli Health Ministry. However, the ministry did not specify the exact number of mpox cases in the country.
The Israel Medical Association said that there were 5 new cases alongside 2 suspected cases, as reported by news agency Xinhua.
Anyone who develops a fever and a blistering rash or has been in close contact with a person suspected of having mpox has been urged to contact a doctor. In 2023 Israel reported only one case of mpox, while in 2022 Israel reported 262 mpox cases.
Zika has surged to levels not seen since before the pandemic in Thailand, with more than 750 people infected and at least 13 babies born with birth defects in 2023.
The pathogen has long circulated in the southeast Asian nation, but cases jumped by almost 300% last year as the virus, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, resurfaced following several years of limited transmission. According to government data, 758 people tested positive, including 33 pregnant women, compared to just 190 in 2022 and 63 in 2021.
While Zika is generally mild -- symptoms include a rash, fever, and joint pain, though many cases are asymptomatic -- it is dangerous if contracted during pregnancy.
As well as being linked to miscarriages and premature births, it can cause congenital malformations in newborns, including microcephaly, which can cause deformity and brain damage, as well as limb contractures, eye abnormalities, and hearing loss.
January 5, 2024
China: Avian Influenza
Subsequent to announcing that carcasses of a pin-tailed snipe and a Eurasian teal found in the Hong Kong Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai preliminarily tested positive for the H5 avian influenza (AI) virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) confirmed the carcasses to be positive for the H5N1 AI virus after further laboratory testing.
The bird carcasses were collected earlier at a mudflat in the Wetland Park.
One chicken farm is situated within 3 km [1.9 mi] of where the dead birds were collected. The AFCD immediately informed the chicken farm concerned, and no abnormal mortality or symptoms of avian influenza among the chicken flocks have been found so far. The AFCD will remind poultry farmers to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against AI. Pet bird shop owners and license holders of bird exhibitions will also be reminded to implement proper precautions against AI.
The director general of veterinary medicine of Ilam province said bluetongue disease, which was observed in some cattle in 2 villages of Helilan and Dehleran cities, is caused by non-observance of hygiene principles in keeping livestock.
Announcing this news, Dr. Yunus Ahmadi stated that the non-indigenous disease and its incidence among cattle is small, but it can affect a herd or livestock of a village.
He added the disease is transmitted due to lack of hygiene of livestock and its keeping environment by livestock keepers and by mosquito and tick bites.
Stating that this disease has been controlled and managed in the affected villages, Ahmadi said: if the animal is infected with this disease, its epidemic in the herd and among light and heavy cattle will be over 50%.
United Kingdom: Shigellosis
Health officials from Europe and the United Kingdom are sounding the alarm about a multi-country outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Shigella infections.
In the United Kingdom, XDR Shigella cases have risen by 53% in 2023, driven primarily by a cluster of 97 cases of an XDR strain of Shigella sonnei with non-susceptibility to penicillins, 3rd-generation cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, tetracycline, sulphonamides, quinolones, and azithromycin. The cases have been reported across England, mainly in men who have sex with men, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
Shigellosis is a highly infectious gastrointestinal condition. Symptoms range from mild diarrhea to severe dysentery, with more severe cases requiring antibiotics. Although shigellosis is commonly associated with exposure to food or water that has been contaminated by human feces and is commonly mistaken for food poisoning, oral and anal sex has become a common mode of transmission.
Nigeria: Lassa Fever
Nine persons, including a 13-year-old girl, have died out of the 39 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in Benue State during 2023. The commissioner for health and human services, Dr. Yanmar Ortese, said the state government was making arrangements for burial of the victims.
Chief medical director of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital Makurdi, Dr. Stephen Hwande, who also confirmed the outbreak during an interaction with newsmen, said the confirmed cases were among the 10 suspected persons that were referred to the hospital from the Federal University of Health Science, Otukpo, Nigerian Airforce Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Makurdi and some private hospitals.
Dr. Hwande said the hospital had secured a grant from the state government, part of which would be used to upgrade facilities at the isolation center of the hospital to enable it to effectively manage Lassa fever and other infectious diseases.
United States: Legionellosis
New Hampshire health officials said two cases of Legionnaires' disease have been identified in people who stayed at the Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield, and one person has died
The Department of Health and Human Services said the two older adults from out-of-state had been staying at the resort, but an investigation is still underway to determine exactly how and where they contracted the illness.
Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, said that one person was from Rhode Island and the other was from Massachusetts. The Massachusetts resident has died, while the Rhode Island resident was hospitalized, he said.
The two people are not connected and stayed at the hotel at different times, Chan said. He said one patient became ill with pneumonia in October, and the other was diagnosed in December.
Vietnam: African Swine Fever
While the number of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in Viet Nam continues to fall, disease hot spots remain across the country. In the latest development in Viet Nam's long-running battle to control the spread of ASF, the disease has recently recurred in central Viet Nam.
Bearing the brunt of this battle recently has been the province of Nghe An, according to Viet Nam Net. With more than 100 confirmed outbreaks in 17 districts, up to 8,000 pigs are reported to have been culled. In order to control the spread of the virus, provincial authorities have provided disinfectant, equipment, and other resources.
As well as Nghe An, outbreaks have also occurred recently in 3 provinces in the north of the country, and 3 more in the Mekong Delta region in the south. Since the country's first cases were recorded in February of 2019, the same source reports that the disease spread rapidly to all 63 of Viet Nam's cities and provinces within 7 months. A total of 6 million pigs were culled, equivalent to 20% of the national swine population.
Ethiopia: Dengue Fever
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it had recorded 14,249 cases of dengue fever in Ethiopia in 2023.
The WHO said in an African Region Health Emergency Situation Report it published that dengue fever in the East African country had also caused at least 7 fatalities.
The UN agency further said it's currently helping out with response activities for dengue fever including coordination, capacity building, active case finding, vector control, case management and social mobilization.
"Ethiopia is currently facing multiple health crises, including cholera, measles, malaria, dengue fever and internal displacement of people due to conflicts and natural disasters," the report said. "Malaria and dengue fever outbreaks are a major concern during the rainy season, while the internal displacement of people worsens the public health crisis due to crowded and unsanitary living conditions."
United States: Avian Influenza
A polar bear found dead on Alaska's North Slope is the first of the species known to have been killed by the highly pathogenic avian influenza that is circulating among animal populations around the world.
The polar bear was found dead in October near Utqiagvik, the nation's northernmost community, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation reported.
The discovery of the virus in the animal's body tissue, a process that required sampling and study by the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management and other agencies, confirmed that highly pathogenic avian influenza was the cause of death, said Dr. Bob Gerlach, Alaska's state veterinarian.
A total of 7 cases of cholera were reported from Jagdish Nagar area in Varachha on Jan. 3. Health officials of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) said the condition of the patients was stable.
Preliminary investigation by SMC Varachha A zone and health teams revealed that contaminated drainage water got mixed with borewell water that the residents use for drinking and daily chores. The drainage line was found blocked in the locality. Following the cases, work to remove the blockage and repair was carried out.
"Primarily, it seems that the residents fell sick due to consumption of the contaminated borewell water. The residents do not have SMC water supply connection and use borewell water," said an official of Varachha A zone.
The Ministry of Health has issued an urgent press release confirming the discovery of two more cases of mpox in Cambodia.
These two new cases follow the first case of mpox in a 28-year-old man living in Pese village, Sangkat Teuk Thla, Khan Sen Sok, Phnom Penh, in December.
Although specific details of the cases were not released, the Ministry urged citizens to "take care of themselves with a high sense of responsibility to prevent the spread of mpox.”