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Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases

2021 World News

World News of 2021 is archived here. To see the latest world news, please go to the World News main page.

March 26, 2021

Madagascar: Plague

Since Jan. 1, at least 21 confirmed cases of bubonic plague have been confirmed in Madagascar; 8 of these cases were reported since March 1. Since the start of the year, 37 suspected cases have been reported, affecting multiple regions. Roughly 9 deaths have been associated with this disease activity.

Plague is endemic to Madagascar, where 200-700 cases are reported each year, primarily the bubonic form. The risk of plague spreading to humans is elevated in Madagascar, where the fleas that transmit the disease are highly resistant to insecticide. The poor state of Madagascar's public health system and limited access to healthcare in rural areas may also facilitate the spread of the disease.

Plague is caused by a bacterium that is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected flea. However, an infection can also occur through direct contact with tissues or fluids from infected animals, such as a scratch or bite. Bubonic plague occurs when the bacteria infect a person's lymph nodes. This form of plague is not easily transmissible from person to person.

However, when the bacteria spread through the bloodstream to the lungs, pneumonic plague can transmit directly from person to person via respiratory droplets containing the plague bacteria. Symptoms of plague generally develop 1-7 days after exposure. All forms of plague cause nondescript symptoms, such as fever, chills, and extreme weakness. Symptoms of bubonic plague also include swollen, tender, and painful lymph nodes and symptoms of pneumonic plague include pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. 

Malaysia: African Swine Fever

The African swine fever (ASF) virus has now spread widely among the vulnerable Bornean bearded pigs with at least 128 confirmed deaths.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan said March 17 the government fears for the survival of the species, especially because the population of the Bornean bearded pigs is already declining.

"I am concerned the ASF will further decrease their population at a much faster rate," he said.

Therefore, he said he has directed the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to convene an urgent steering committee meeting with the relevant departments and agencies to coordinate efforts to control and eradicate ASF in Sabah.

The first meeting, chaired by DVS Director Dr. Peter Lee, was held on March16 and was attended by representatives from the State Attorney General Office, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Forestry Department, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Community Development Leader Unit, Information Department, Local Government and Housing Ministry, and the police.

Poland: African Swine Fever

Poland, for the 1st time this year, confirmed an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in domestic pigs.

The Veterinary Authority confirmed the outbreak on a farm in the Swiebodzin district of the Lubusz Voivodeship, just about 60 km from the German-Polish border. The direct distance to Frankfurt an der Oder is about 80 km. A breeding sow herd with almost 16,000 animals is affected. This is the second largest outbreak since ASF was detected in Poland in 2014. According to media reports, there is concern that the disease could have reached other farms via piglets.

Meanwhile, ASF continues to rage unabated in the Polish wild boar population. According to the official information, a total of 86 new finds with a total of 163 animals were recorded in the past week. From a German point of view, the problem is that 60 of the most recently confirmed carcass finds are from Lebus, which is close to the border. The number of infected wild boar has risen to a total of 748 confirmed cases since the beginning of 2021.

China: Avian Influenza

Hong Kong health officials are monitoring a human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Guangxi in southern China. The case involved a 50-year-old man living in Hechi in Guangxi. He developed symptoms on Feb. 16 and was admitted for treatment due to severe pneumonia. The patient died on March 2.

Since 2014, 30 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by China mainland health authorities.

Avian influenza is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. The clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans includes eye infection (conjunctivitis), flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches), or severe respiratory illness (such as chest infection). The incubation period ranges from 7 to 10 days.

The more virulent forms can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, and even death. People mainly become infected with avian influenza viruses through contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead) or their droppings, or contact with contaminated environments (such as wet markets and live poultry markets). Human-to-human transmission is inefficient.

People in close contact with poultry are more susceptible to contracting avian influenza. The elderly, children, and people with chronic illness have a higher risk of developing complications such as bronchitis and chest infection.

March 19,2021

United States: Canine Distemper

Six raccoons picked up by Arlington County Animal Control in North Arlington, Va., in recent weeks have tested positive for canine distemper, the county said March 11.

Five of the raccoons were removed from various neighborhoods in North Arlington over a 3-week period after showing neurological signs and symptoms, according to Animal Welfare League of Arlington spokeswoman Chelsea Jones. Those raccoons were euthanized due to their condition. The sixth raccoon tested was found dead in the same area with the cause of death unknown.

Distemper is a viral disease that is present in wildlife populations at varying levels. Raccoons are especially susceptible to canine distemper, as well as foxes, coyotes, skunks, and unvaccinated dogs. Distemper does not affect humans.

No people or pets had contact with the six raccoons that were all confirmed positive for canine distemper, Jones said in an email.

Mauritius: Foot and Mouth Disease

The veterinary service of the Ministry of Agro-Industry was notified of a suspected case of foot and mouth disease [FMD] in Rodrigues on March 10 by the Agriculture Commission.

Samples taken for analysis will be sent to the ANSES laboratory in France, thanks to the support and logistical facilitation of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

The International Organization of Epizootics (OIE) has also been notified of this suspected case. As a precautionary measure, no transport of livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs) from Rodrigues to Mauritius will be authorized until further notice.

Brazil: Yellow Fever

The DIVE (Directorate of Epidemiological Surveillance) March 10 registered 17 more monkey deaths from yellow fever in Santa Caterina.

The deaths occurred in the municipalities of Sao Martinho, Campo Belo do Sul, Sao Jose do Cerrito and Lages. In total, the state has counted 56 dead monkeys from the disease in 2021.

The monkeys live in the same habitat as the mosquitoes that transmit yellow fever viruses and because of this are the first victims of the disease, explained a note issued by DIVA.

The death of the animals' signals where the virus is circulating. Thus, the population needs to report to the Municipal Health Department when they find a dead or sick monkey.

United States: Legionellosis

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is investigating a cluster of Legionnaires' disease cases in Union County. The Department is aware of 14 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease, including one death, among individuals who live in or spend time in the county.

The cases were reported to the Department during February. The Department is working with the local health departments in Union County to investigate this cluster. The individual who died was a male resident of Union County in his late 60s.

"This is a continuing investigation. The risk to anyone who lives in Union County is very small," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. "Out of an abundance of caution, the Department recommends that individuals who live in Union County who become ill with pneumonia-like/respiratory symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headache visit their healthcare provider."

Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not develop Legionnaires' disease. People over the age of 50, especially those who smoke cigarettes, or those with certain medical conditions, including weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease, or other chronic health conditions, are at increased risk for Legionnaires' disease.

Libya: Leishmaniasis

The Libya Health Ministry says that the country has seen some 5,000 cases of the parasitic disease leishmaniasis in the past six months, according to a media account.

"There are currently 5,000 patients who are being treated," said Ahmad al-Qarari, who heads the center for disease control at the health ministry of Libya's UN-backed unity government.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

The discovery of equine herpesvirus EHV-1 at Laurel Park has forced travel restrictions on horses at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.

"Effective immediately: No horses are allowed to ship out of Laurel or Pimlico, with the exception of Pimlico horses entered to run at Laurel," the Maryland Jockey Club tweeted March 9.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association hosted a Zoom Q&A session to discuss the situation with Maryland Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Michael Odian.

"Equine herpesvirus 1 is a contagious virus that can cause neurological disease, respiratory disease, newborn death and abortion in horses," according to the University of Minnesota Extension.

March 11, 2021

Pakistan: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

A patient at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital has been diagnosed with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. "A patient infected with Congo fever virus has been admitted at the Jinnah Hospital," Dr. Seemi Jamali said March 1. It is the first patient with the Congo virus reported this year.

"The patient has been a cowherd and resident of Bilawal Chowrangi in Karachi," Dr. Jamali said.

The patient was brought to Jinnah Hospital over symptoms of Congo fever. The hospital confirmed the Congo virus in the patient after medical test reports. A Congo virus alert had been issued last year for the metropolis, stipulating precautionary instructions for all those people who were visiting cattle farms. The alert was issued by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to hospitals, directing them to adopt special precautions for a Congo-affected patient. It had further asked hospitals to establish special wards for Congo patients, and run awareness campaigns about the virus.

The disease is caused when a tick attaches itself to the skin of infected cattle and when that infected tick or animal comes in contact with people, the highly contagious virus is transmitted into the human body and the person falls ill. The initial symptoms of Congo fever included headache, high fever, rashes, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting.

Congo: Ebola

Since the last brief Feb. 23, 11 new confirmed cases, 1 new death, and 2 new recoveries of Ebola have been reported in Nzerekore, Guinea, and North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This represents a 47% increase in the total number of cases reported this week compared to the last brief. Cumulatively, 28 EVD cases, 11 deaths (CFR: 39%), and [4] recoveries have been reported from DRC (11 cases; 4 deaths; 2 recoveries) and Guinea (17; [7]; 2). Seven healthcare workers are among the confirmed cases: DRC (2) and Guinea (5).

Bhutan: Sheep Pox and Goat Pox

Wild animals within the Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reservoir in Gakiling and Sangbaykha gewogs, Haa [District] have succumbed to a suspected outbreak of the viral infection capripox.

The first case was detected in November. According to the rescue focal officer, Kinley Tenzin, an observed symptom is the development of skin lesions and gradual peeling off.

So far, 3 Himalayan serows, one wild boar, and a barking deer were reported dead from the disease. "One animal was found sick and died within a night. Others were found dead by the officials," he said.

Other symptoms of capripox are characterized by fever, generalized papules or nodules, vesicles, and internal lesions. Infected animals eventually die. The disease is caused by strains of capripoxvirus.

Kinley Tenzin said that there was no history of such outbreaks in the area but was earlier reported at Chari in Thimphu.

Australia: Box jellyfish death

An Australian teenager has died after a suspected box jellyfish sting, authorities said March 4 in a rare case believed to be the country's first such death in 15 years.

Health officials said the 17-year-old was stung while swimming at Bamaga, a remote community on the tip of Cape York in Australia's far north, on Feb. 22. He was airlifted to a hospital where he died on March 1, according to police.

The Australian box jellyfish, or Chironex Fleckeri, is among the world's most venomous creatures. It is found primarily in Australia's tropical northern waters, where swimmers are warned to keep out of the ocean or wear a full-body protective swimsuit during the summer "stinger season."

Marine biologist Lisa-Ann Gershwin said it was Australia's first recorded box jellyfish death since 2006. "Unfortunately, the previous fatality also occurred in Bamaga," she told public broadcaster ABC. Gershwin said deaths were avoidable, but people living far from cities were most vulnerable.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

A mare in Marion, Florida, has tested positive for the neurological strain of equine herpesvirus, EHV-1, raising concerns, a very aggressive strain of the virus currently circulating in Europe may eventually make its way to the United States.

EHV-1 most often causes mild-to-moderate respiratory illness (rhino-pneumonitis), but the infection occasionally leads to the life-threatening neurologic disease equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), which occurs when EHV-1 attacks the cells lining the central nervous system, damaging blood vessels serving the brain and spinal cord. The mechanisms through which EHV-1 produces neurologic disease are not yet understood.

There is no vaccine that specifically protects against EHM, so biosecurity is a crucial part of prevention. EHV-1 spreads from horse to horse through nasal discharge or aerosol droplets. Humans can spread the virus via contaminated hands, clothing, and equipment.

Algeria: Avian Influenza

On March 5, a new focus of bird flu virus was discovered in Batna Wilaya, in the east of the country.

The Agriculture Directorate of Batna State stated that "a focus of avian influenza virus has been confirmed in the Seriana region in the state."

The directorate demanded that poultry keepers in the region attend a meeting to be held on March 7 in the Seriana region to take advantage of instructions and directives to avoid the spread of infection. According to the statement, these measures aim to preserve the livestock and economic resources of poultry farmers. The statement did not mention additional details about the extent of the virus spread or the number of dead poultry.

Last month, Algeria declared a state of high alert after the World Organization for Animal Health announced the registration of a bird flu focus in the eastern state of Oum El Bouaghi, which was spotted at the end of last January.

Spain: Equine Herpesvirus

Three more horse deaths have put the toll of the equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) outbreak in Europe at 9, with all but 2 occurring in Spain. Two horses have died in Germany, 2 in Barcelona, and 5 in Valencia, the center of the outbreak. There are now 6 countries with confirmed cases: Spain, Germany, Belgium, France, Sweden, and Qatar. There is a case in the US, but it is not linked with the outbreak in Europe.

Late on March 5, the FEI, horse sport's world governing body, suspended the Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera in Spain after a second horse at the venue had been put into isolation after developing mild neurological signs and a slightly elevated temperature.

The first horse to show symptoms arrived directly from her home stables in Belgium and was fit and healthy with no symptoms. She competed for the first 2 weeks as normal and on the first day of competition on Feb. 22.

Malaysia: African swine fever

The African swine fever (ASF) virus has now spread to other districts, infecting both domestic pigs and their cousins, the wild bearded pigs. In a statement in Kota Kinabalu on March 7, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan said the virus was detected among domestic pigs in Kota Marudu and Pitas as well as wild bearded pigs in Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Beluran, and Telupid. "This includes the case of a dead wild bearded pig at a resort in the Kinabatangan district which went viral on social media last week," he said.

Fortunately, he said commercial pig farms in Tawau, Sandakan, Tenom, Papar, Tuaran, and Penampang that supply most of Sabah's pork products are still free of the ASF virus. "We must ensure these areas remain ASF-free so that the pork production for local consumption is not affected. Even though ASF does not infect humans, it is capable of causing great economic damage as well as disrupting the well-being of our society. Therefore, it is crucial for us to control and eliminate this disease," he said.

Brazil: Yellow Fever

In a little more than 15 days, the region has registered 40 dead monkeys in the cities of Santa Rosa de Lima, Rio Fortuna, Sao Martinho, Grao-Para, and Braco do Norte, with 24 in just one week.

Teams from regional Health Surveillance and the Zoonoses Surveillance Unit (UVZ), Tubarao Municipal Health Foundation (FMS), issued an alert about the possibility of yellow fever cases that could be causing the deaths of monkeys in municipalities of the region.

Several days ago, 8 dead monkeys were collected that were encountered in the Santa Rosa de Lima region, the results of which still have not been issued. However, the alert was made due to the increase in cases.

According to the biologist Sabrina Fernandes Cardoso of the State Health Secretariat, the first results of the test are expected at the beginning of next week. "It is worrisome because there is no apparent cause of death of these animals, with no signs of aggression or accident. In addition to this, the monkeys that were seen constantly by the residents have disappeared," she stated.

Vietnam: Lumpy Skin Disease

The lumpy skin disease [LSD] virus, which has been detected in cows and buffaloes in Vietnam since mid-October has continued spreading. To date, LSD had hit 163 communes in 65 districts of 18 cities and provinces in Vietnam, affecting 2200 cows and buffaloes with 300 culled.

By March 1, the disease had attacked roughly 1,000 cows and buffaloes in many districts of the Ha Tinh province and has tended to rise. The province is seeking the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the import of 5,000 doses of vaccine for the disease.

Meanwhile, the disease has also appeared in the Nghi Loc Commune, situated in neighboring Nghe An. Initially, 6 cows of 4 households were diagnosed with the disease.

Lumpy skin disease virus is a double-stranded DNA virus. It is a member of the capripoxvirus genus of Poxviridae and is not infectious to humans. It is believed that arthropod vectors, direct contact, contaminated feed and water, and repeated use of needles on different animals can all spread the disease.

March 4, 2021

Lebanon: Foot and Mouth Disease

The National News Agency reported that after monitoring cases of FMD in the villages of the district, the Agricultural Services Center in the Municipalities Union of Bint Jbeil District, in cooperation with the Jihad Al-Bina Development Foundation, and in coordination with the Cattle Breeders Syndicate in the south, started a vaccination campaign against this disease for cows in the villages of the union.

To prevent the spread of disease among cows and in the interest of livestock, livestock keepers should adhere to the following guidelines: maintain cleanliness and periodic sterilization of farms, isolate the affected animal, and make sure before buying cows that they are free of contagious diseases.

India: Japanese Encephalitis

A child in Bihar's Muzaffarpur has been detected with symptoms of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Shrikrishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCK), and the pediatrics department has confirmed the case on Feb. 19. "Pediatrics department confirmed one case of AES in Muzaffarpur's SKMC Hospital," hospital superintendent Dr. BS Jha said. "We are prepared to deal with this case; we have arranged the medicines.”

In October 2020, a total of 77 children were admitted to SKMCH hospital with AES/Japanese encephalitis.

AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, and, in extreme cases, brain dysfunction, seizure, and inflammation of the heart and kidney.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

A deadly outbreak of a highly contagious virus that's often fatal in horses has struck an equestrian farm in western Quebec.

The neurological form of EHV-1, sometimes called equine herpesvirus, has already caused the deaths of 2 horses and infected nearly half of the other 39 animals housed in stables at the Luskville farm.

Staff at Venturing Hills, already under added strain due to the coronavirus pandemic, now have new anti-contagion precautions to manage. They've been working around the clock to care for the horses, which are either owned by the training facility or boarded there by their private owners.

The illness seemed to come out of nowhere.

On Feb. 3, Eddy, an otherwise healthy, young horse, began to stumble and lose strength. The neurological form of the equine virus had taken hold, and within hours, the animal had to be euthanized. Another horse died 11 days later.

Canada: Strangles

On Wednesday, the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission (APHRC) was informed of a new confirmed case of strangles in a Standardbred on Prince Edward Island.

This case is in a different barn from the stable has been under quarantine since early November. Testing of other horses in the newly impacted stable at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park is underway, and the stable has been quarantined. No other horses in this barn had shown any clinical signs for Streptococcus Equi except for the horse coming up positive.

The originally impacted barn has been following testing and treatment protocols established by the Atlantic Veterinary College. This has resulted in the majority of the horses in the stable being cleared. The remaining horses are undergoing testing and treatment protocols set forth by the attending veterinarians.

Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium S. Equi.

Russia: Avian Influenza

 Russia has registered the first case of a strain of bird flu virus named A(H5N8) being passed to humans from birds and has reported the matter to the World Health Organization (WHO), Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said Feb. 20.

Outbreaks of the H5N8 strain have been reported in Russia, Europe, China, the Middle East, and North Africa in recent months but so far only in poultry. Other strains -- H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 -- have been known here to spread to humans.

Russia reported the case of human infection to the WHO "several days ago, just as we became certain of our results," Popova said on Rossiya 24 state TV. There was no sign yet of transmission between humans, she added.

Seven workers at a poultry plant in Russia's south had been infected with the H5N8 strain in an outbreak at the plant in December, Popova said, adding that the individuals involved felt fine now. "This situation did not develop further," she said.

In an email, WHO's European arm said it had been notified by Russia about a case of human infection with H5N8 and acknowledged that this would, if confirmed, be the first time the strain had infected people.

"Preliminary information indicates that the reported cases were workers exposed to bird flocks," the email said. "They were asymptomatic, and no onward human-to-human transmission was reported. We are in discussion with national authorities to gather more information and assess the public health impact of this event," the email added.

United States: Flu

On Jan. 13, a child under 18 years of age in Wisconsin developed the respiratory disease. A respiratory specimen was collected. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing conducted at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene indicated a presumptive positive influenza A(H3N2) variant virus infection. The specimen was forwarded to the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on 21 Jan 2021 for further testing.

CDC confirmed an influenza A (H3N2)v virus infection using RT-PCR and genome sequence analysis. An investigation into the source of the infection has been completed and revealed that the child lives on a farm with swine present. A sampling of the swine on the property for influenza virus has not yet been conducted but is planned. Five family members of the patient-reported respiratory illness during the investigation and were tested for influenza; all tested negative. The patient was prescribed antiviral treatment and was not hospitalized and has made a full recovery. No human-to-human transmission has been identified associated with this investigation.

Guinea: Ebola

Officials said 4 people have died from the hemorrhagic Ebola virus during a new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, warning that people are resisting measures to contain the highly contagious disease.

Since the epidemic's resurgence this month, "we have already registered 6 Ebola cases. We have lost 4 infected people," [Eugene Nzanzu Salita], the provincial health minister in North Kivu province in the DRC's east, told AFP.

Salita said one person died on Feb. 19 and another on Feb. 20, while the 2 others died in early February. Two patients are receiving care at an Ebola treatment centre in Katwa near the major city of Butembo, he added.

Salita complained that the region's residents were not taking the new outbreak seriously enough. "Some families categorically refuse to have their homes disinfected or to hold dignified and safe funerals," the doctor said.

"People have not yet understood that Ebola has reappeared. Everything is not yet clear for them."

A vaccination drive was launched, but as with past outbreaks, people in the region doubt the existence of Ebola and reject measures aimed at checking its spread, including not to touch sick people and not to wash the dead.

India: Avian influenza

Bihar health authorities have sounded alert after pathogenic avian influenza [AI] (H5N8) viruses were detected in crows in the state.

Dozens of crows died in the state's West Champaran district in January, following which the animal husbandry department officials collected samples and sent them for testing at a laboratory in Kolkata.

"The report confirmed H5N8 strain of bird flu. We have sounded alert and stepped surveillance to check the spread of this virus," Sunil Kumar Thakur, district animal husbandry officer, West Champaran, told Down To Earth.

Thakur added that the virus is not "deadly" and suggested people consume chickens as usual without any fear: "People panic in the absence of proper information. I suggest them to consume chickens without nursing any fear."

He said the department had asked all block-level animal husbandry officials to promptly inform about the death of birds and collect samples for testing. "We are examining all poultry farms in the district," he said.

The state animal husbandry department issued a high alert in the areas and formed quick-response teams in case the situation deteriorates, said its Muzaffarpur-based regional director Manoj Das.

"It is destroyed at 80 deg C [176 deg F]," Das said, indicating cooked poultry meat or eggs were safe.

India: Hemorrhagic Septicemia

A 3-member team from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) visited Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary on Feb. 20 to ascertain the death of 6 elephants.

Sources said the Central team is on the same page with the Forest department about hemorrhagic septicemia (HS) being the cause and the measures are undertaken to prevent further outbreak though it has collected samples and would seek more detailed analysis.

Since there have been no more deaths, the department has reasons to believe the spread has been contained.

The officials reviewed the hemorrhagic septicemia vaccination drive to protect domestic cattle from the disease in villages. Sources said the team also assessed the steps taken by the Forest department to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future and collected samples from water bodies in the sanctuary.

The team conducted a review meeting in the evening and expressed satisfaction with the steps being taken for disinfection of water bodies, tracking of elephant herd, and vaccination of domestic cattle in the sanctuary.

Zimbabwe: Theileria

A new wave of theileriosis, also known as January disease, is killing hundreds of cattle in Masvingo Province, while a lot of deaths are not reported. The provincial veterinary services officer confirmed the epizootic and said the 552 cattle that have been reported dead since Jan. 1 are an understatement of the situation on the ground. However, he said that the government was intervening by availing 146 tons of tick grease; 96.6 tons have already been released to farmers. Awareness campaigns on the importance of dipping are operated; people are urged to collect tick grease for their livestock.

The new wave of the pandemic follows another devastating one last year that left the province's total herd drastically reduced.

Gutu [district] is the epicenter of the disease. Zaka, Bikita, Masvingo, and Chivi [districts] are also affected; Chiredzi and Mwenezi recorded the fewest deaths. Most cases are unrecorded due to COVID-19; it is believed more cattle have succumbed to tick-borne-related pathogens.

England: Strangles

A warning has been issued after a case of strangles disease - a highly contagious respiratory infection that kills scores of equines in the UK each year -- was reported in south Cumbria. The case is believed to be an isolated outbreak limited to the Furness area.

Strangles is one of the most common diseases diagnosed in horses worldwide. It is a highly contagious and debilitating disease that can affect any horse, on any yard, at any time.

Symptoms include a high temperature above 38.5°C; lethargy; reluctance to eat or drink; difficulty swallowing and a lowered head and neck; a cough; thick and discolored nasal discharge; and swelling of the glands under the jaw which may lead to abscesses.

The abscesses that cause the lymph nodes to swell can burst, discharging highly infectious, thick, creamy-yellow pus. In some cases the glands swell so much they restrict the airway -- hence the name strangles.

The chair of Ulverston District Equine Club is urging horse and pony owners to remain vigilant of the disease. "It's a contact disease which is always around," she said.

Kenya: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

The first case of an extremely rare mad cow-like disease, which affects the nervous system and usually is fatal, has been reported in Kenya. The case of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) referred to a major teaching hospital in Nairobi is the first to be reported in East Africa.

"We report the case of a 57-year-old male with a 3-week history of losing direction when driving home and visual hallucinations described as seeing rainbows," said the attending doctors.

While other variants have been suspected in the country, the doctors say it is the first time this extremely rare form called the Heidenhain variant is recorded in East Africa.

CJD is the human version of the mad cow disease called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), first identified in a 1986 outbreak in the UK. During the outbreak, 180,000 cows were affected and since then it has been recorded in more than a dozen countries. At least 28 human deaths were reported in the UK outbreak, suspected to have been transmitted through consumption of contaminated beef.

However, the Kenya human case reported in the International Medical Case Reports Journal early this month is from an unknown cause.

Guinea: Ebola

The provincial minister of health in North Kivu, Dr. Eugene Nzanzu Salita, Monday in the town of Butembo, announced a seventh positive case for the Ebola virus. This is the daughter of the second case notified in the Biena health zone, in Lubero territory. This new case is being taken care of in the Katwa health zone.

"Currently, she is receiving care in the CTE (Ebola Treatment Center) in Katwa," Dr. Salita said.

He also affirms that the vaccination against Ebola "for people not yet vaccinated" has started.

In addition, the provincial minister of health in North Kivu denied rumors that an Ebola response team in charge of vaccination was attacked in the health zone of Biena (Lubero), last Sunday by drivers of motorcycle taxis.

"This is false. What is true is that the taxi drivers were in mourning. And you know here with us how we manifest during mourning. They were sympathizing because one of their own had passed away. And after that, we had vaccinated more than 62 people. So, to tell you that we were not attacked," he said.

February 25, 2021

Lebanon: Foot and Mouth Disease

The National News Agency reported that after monitoring cases of FMD in the villages of the district, the Agricultural Services Center in the Municipalities Union of Bint Jbeil District, in cooperation with the Jihad Al-Bina Development Foundation, and in coordination with the Cattle Breeders Syndicate in the south, started a vaccination campaign against this disease for cows in the villages of the union.

India: Japanese Encephalitis

A child in Bihar's Muzaffarpur has been detected with symptoms of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Shrikrishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCK), and the pediatrics department has confirmed the case on Feb. 19. "Pediatrics department confirmed one case of AES in Muzaffarpur's SKMC Hospital," hospital superintendent Dr. BS Jha said. "We are prepared to deal with this case; we have arranged the medicines.”

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

A deadly outbreak of a highly contagious virus that's often fatal in horses has struck an equestrian farm in western Quebec. The neurological form of EHV-1, sometimes called equine herpesvirus, has already caused the deaths of 2 horses and infected nearly half of the other 39 animals housed in stables at the Luskville farm.

Canada: Strangles

On Wednesday, the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission (APHRC) was informed of a new confirmed case of strangles in a Standardbred on Prince Edward Island. This case is in a different barn from the stable has been under quarantine since early November. Testing of other horses in the newly impacted stable at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park is underway, and the stable has been quarantined. No other horses in this barn had shown any clinical signs for Streptococcus Equi except for the horse coming up positive.

Russia: Avian Influenza

 Russia has registered the first case of a strain of bird flu virus named A(H5N8) being passed to humans from birds and has reported the matter to the World Health Organization (WHO), Anna Popova, head of consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said Feb. 20. Outbreaks of the H5N8 strain have been reported in Russia, Europe, China, the Middle East, and North Africa in recent months but so far only in poultry. Other strains -- H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 -- have been known here to spread to humans.

United States: Flu

On Jan. 13, a child under 18 years of age in Wisconsin developed the respiratory disease. A respiratory specimen was collected. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing conducted at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene indicated a presumptive positive influenza A(H3N2) variant virus infection. The specimen was forwarded to the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on 21 Jan 2021 for further testing.

Guinea: Ebola

Officials said 4 people have died from the hemorrhagic Ebola virus during a new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, warning that people are resisting measures to contain the highly contagious disease. Since the epidemic's resurgence this month, "we have already registered 6 Ebola cases. We have lost 4 infected people," [Eugene Nzanzu Salita], the provincial health minister in North Kivu province in the DRC's east, told AFP.

India: Avian influenza

Bihar health authorities have sounded alert after pathogenic avian influenza [AI] (H5N8) viruses were detected in crows in the state. Dozens of crows died in the state's West Champaran district in January, following which the animal husbandry department officials collected samples and sent them for testing at a laboratory in Kolkata.

India: Hemorrhagic Septicemia

A 3-member team from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) visited Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary on Feb. 20 to ascertain the death of 6 elephants. Sources said the Central team is on the same page with the Forest department about hemorrhagic septicemia (HS) being the cause and the measures are undertaken to prevent further outbreak though it has collected samples and would seek more detailed analysis.

Zimbabwe: Theileria

A new wave of theileriosis, also known as January disease, is killing hundreds of cattle in Masvingo Province, while a lot of deaths are not reported. The provincial veterinary services officer confirmed the epizootic and said the 552 cattle that have been reported dead since Jan. 1 are an understatement of the situation on the ground. However, he said that the government was intervening by availing 146 tons of tick grease; 96.6 tons have already been released to farmers. Awareness campaigns on the importance of dipping are operated; people are urged to collect tick grease for their livestock.

England: Strangles

A warning has been issued after a case of strangles disease - a highly contagious respiratory infection that kills scores of equines in the UK each year -- was reported in south Cumbria. The case is believed to be an isolated outbreak limited to the Furness area. Strangles is one of the most common diseases diagnosed in horses worldwide. It is a highly contagious and debilitating disease that can affect any horse, on any yard, at any time.

Kenya: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

The first case of an extremely rare mad cow-like disease, which affects the nervous system and usually is fatal, has been reported in Kenya. The case of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) referred to a major teaching hospital in Nairobi is the first to be reported in East Africa.

Guinea: Ebola

The provincial minister of health in North Kivu, Dr. Eugene Nzanzu Salita, Monday in the town of Butembo, announced a seventh positive case for the Ebola virus. This is the daughter of the second case notified in the Biena health zone, in Lubero territory. This new case is being taken care of in the Katwa health zone.

February 18, 2021

Latvia: Avian Influenza

Laboratory tests have confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza for 2 dead swans in Jurmala, Dzintaru Beach. This is the first case of avian influenza in Latvia, the Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) said.

The Ministry of Agriculture intends, on the basis of information provided by the PVD, to impose additional biosecurity measures for poultry keepers throughout the country, including ban of keeping poultry outdoors in order to prevent direct or indirect contact with wild birds.

The PVD calls on owners of birds not to let them outside or keep them in fenced structures before any restrictions are imposed, to avoid contact of poultry with wild birds, particularly water birds (swans, ducks), and refrain from purchasing poultry in other European countries during the winter and forthcoming spring months.

Poultry owners should notify the PVD immediately if signs of disease are observed in birds: significantly decreased intake of food and water, increased mortality.

Kenya: Rift Valley Fever

In a follow-up on the Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak in Kenya, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports as of Feb. 4 that there are 32 total human cases reported, of which 14 are confirmed and 11 deaths.

RVF in humans has been reported in Isiolo and Mandera counties and in animals in Isiolo, Mandera, Murang'a, and Garissa counties.

The first case of suspected RVF was reported in late November 2020 following a sudden death of an adult male who was a herder. This was a case from Sericho ward in Garbatulla subcounty, Isiolo county.

Other deaths with symptoms such as fevers, joint pains, headache, and general malaise were also reported in Gafarsa and Erisaboru locations within Garbatulla subcounty as well as Korbesa in Merti subcounty.

A confirmed case of RVF in Madera county reported end of December has since died; he was involved in the slaughter of 4 sick camels. All the affected cases were males aged 13-70 years.

Congo: Ebola

The World Health Organization on Feb. 12 confirmed a third case of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as health officials race to vaccinate residents and contain the potential outbreak.

Earlier this week, the global health agency confirmed that a woman died of the disease in Butembo, a city in North Kivu province and an epicenter of a previous Ebola outbreak that was declared over in June. The WHO has since confirmed 2 more cases, including another person who has died, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said.

The number of people who might have been exposed to the virus has risen from over 70 on Feb. 8 to 182 as of Feb. 12, Ryan said. He added that all but 3 of those people have been contacted, and more than half of them were previously vaccinated against Ebola during prior outbreaks.

"We're seeing some benefits of the previous vaccination, but obviously we have to look at the length of time that vaccine protects," he said.

Japan: Avian Influenza

Bird flu has been confirmed in Sanglekhola of Tarkeshwar Municipality in the district.

The flu has been detected among chickens and ducks reared there. According to Chief of the Livestock Department of the Municipality, Dhanapati Ray, the viral disease has been detected among chickens and ducks reared by 2 locals.

The flu was confirmed following a sample test conducted at the Tripureshwar-based central laboratory.

With this, the local authorities have urged all to adopt extra precaution to prevent the flu from spreading further.

United States: Plague

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports a cat has been diagnosed with plague in Los Alamos County, making it the first plague case in New Mexico this year.

"NMDOH staff will conduct an environmental investigation to ensure the safety of the immediate family and neighbors," said Secretary-Designate Dr. Tracie Collins. "We also offer a friendly reminder: even in the midst of a global pandemic, other diseases still occur in New Mexico, and there are steps people can take to keep themselves and their pets safe."

The cat, which became ill in early January, has now recovered following veterinary treatment.

Plague is a bacterial disease in wildlife and is generally transmitted to pets through the bites of infected fleas or after eating an infected animal. Humans can also contract plague via infected fleas or direct contact with infected animals.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

Officials at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed on Jan. 26] that a horse at a Hanover County boarding facility was confirmed with equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy. Thirty-two horses at 2 different facilities were exposed. The positive horse, a cross-bred gelding, began showing clinical signs on Jan. 25. Signs included dribbling urine and hind limb ataxia, progressing to recumbency (down and unable to rise). The horse, which had been vaccinated, was euthanized.

One of the exposed horses was from another farm in Hanover County, which is now also under quarantine.

EHV 101 Herpesvirus is highly contagious among horses and can cause a variety of ailments in equids, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and equine herpesvirus myeloencephalitis.

In many horses, the first or only sign of EHV-1 infection is fever, which can go undetected. In addition to fever, other common signs of EHV-1 infection in young horses include cough, decreased appetite, depression, and a nasal discharge. Pregnant mares typically show no signs of infection before they abort, and abortions usually occur late in gestation (around 8 months) but can be earlier. Abortions can occur anywhere from 2 weeks to several months following infection with EHV-1.

Mozambique: Cholera

The northern Mozambican province of Nampula has recorded so far 133 cases of cholera, after an outbreak that was first reported in January 2021 in the district of Meconta, which is also the epicenter of the disease.

Addressing a meeting of the Emergency Operational Centre (COE), at which the province's current epidemiological situation was presented, the Secretary of State for Nampula, Mety Gondola, said 52 patients are now hospitalized with cholera, but there have been no deaths.

"Taking into account the cumulative number of cases, we have declared a cholera outbreak in the district of Meconta. The situation is worrying, but we hope we can depend on everyone's support so that we can bring it under control," Gondola said.

Besides Meconta, he has also expressed concern with the growing number of diarrhea cases in Moma, Memba, and Erati districts, which might also be cholera, and urged the stakeholders to constantly share information about the spread of the disease. He said that health authorities are monitoring the movement of people in the affected districts, especially in the administrative post of Namialo, in Meconta. "We have stepped up the alert level, as we fear that some people might bring the disease to Nampula city and Monapo district," said Gondola.

India: Anthrax

Within 13 days, 5 elephants have died inside Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Kalahandi district of Odisha, officials said. All the carcasses were found near water bodies, they said. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Sashi Pal said the elephant deaths were due to some bacterial infection. "The water bodies in the sanctuary may have been infected," he said.

Divisional Forest Officer, Kalahandi (South Division), Ashok Kumar said, stagnant water is being treated with bleaching powder to avoid further spread and water samples have been collected from different spots for testing. The DFO [Divisional Forest Officer] said that experts from the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), have arrived in the protected area for conducting field analysis. "Villagers have been advised not to allow their cattle inside the forest as it is suspected that the water bodies may be contaminated," Kumar said. The latest jumbo death was reported on FEB. 13] when an adult elephant died near a waterbody in the sanctuary.

Though the animal was found alive on Feb. 12, it died during the day due to septicaemia, an official said. The first death was reported on Feb. 1, when the carcass of a jumbo was found near Tentulipada village inside the sanctuary. The post-mortem examination revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant. The next 3 deaths were reported from near Ghusurigudi nullah.

India: Kyasanur Forest Disease

A case of Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) has been reported from Mullankolly under the Pulpally Family Health Centre in Wayanad.

KFD, also known as monkey fever, is a viral disease transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys.

The patient, a 30-year-old youth, is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Sulthan Bathery. The patient was hospitalized on Feb. 11, and samples were sent to the virology laboratory at Sulthan Bathery, which confirmed them as a case of KFD, District Medical Officer R. Renuka told The Hindu. Surveillance had been stepped up in hotspots in forest fringes identified by the Health Department, Dr. Renuka said.

Front-line forest staff and high-risk populations living on forest fringes have been advised to use personal protection measures, including gloves and gumboots.

Syria: Foot and Mouth Disease

According to an unofficial/media report, there is a widespread outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in northeastern Syria. Per the news article, veterinary doctor Adnan Hamed from Derik in the far north and east of Syria told Shafaq News: "The disease has spread widely throughout Syria, especially in the areas administered by the Autonomous Administration in northern and eastern Syria." Hamed stated, "The Russian vaccine used to come from Damascus and be distributed to the health and agricultural extension directorates in the region, and it has been missing for more than 3 months. The Turkish and Iranian vaccines are not useful, and the lack of the necessary Russian vaccine may lead to a real disaster in the region, and we appeal to the competent health authorities to secure the vaccine as soon as possible."

On the other hand, weather conditions in this time of the year are more favorable for the spread of the disease as well as the lack of movement restrictions in the war-torn affected region. According to FAO (July-September 2020 report), FMDV serotypes in Syria belong to Pool 3 (West Eurasia and Middle East), which includes serotypes A, Asia 1, and O (SAT 2 reported only in Oman in 2017). Endemic pools represent independently circulating and evolving foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) genotypes; within the pools, cycles of emergence and spread occur that usually affect multiple countries in the region. In the absence of specific reports, it should be assumed that the serotypes indicated are continuously circulating in parts of the pool area and would be detected if sufficient surveillance were in place.

Australia: Ross River Virus

Residents in southern New South Wales [NSW] are advised to take extra steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites following a suspected outbreak of Ross River fever and the Barmah Forest virus locally.

The Southern NSW Local Health District says an increased number of suspected cases of both mosquito-borne diseases have been reported to the public health unit and are currently under investigation. So far, the investigation suggests the infections were acquired on the NSW South Coast.

The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring program has seen a moderate number of mosquitoes in early February at a trapping site in Narooma.

Manager of infectious diseases April Roberts-Witteveen said symptoms of both diseases are similar and include a rash, fever, chills, headache, aches, and pains, which usually show about 3 weeks after a mosquito bite. "Tiredness and sore and swollen joints can also occur," she said. "Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see their doctor."

Symptoms can subside after a few weeks, but some people may experience them for weeks or even months.

Italy: Kiebsiella Varicola

A bacterium considered an emerging pathogen in humans has been linked to a serious lung infection in a horse in Italy.

The details of the horse's illness are described in a case report just published in the journal BMC Veterinary Research.

The 17-year-old saddle horse was found to be infected with Klebsiella variicola. The researchers believe it is the first time K. variicola has been identified as the cause of respiratory disease in a horse.

The bacterium was first isolated in Mexico in 2004, initially being identified as an endophyte in soil and plants such as bananas, rice, sugar cane, and maize. However, recent studies have identified the micro-organisim as an emerging pathogen in humans.

"It has been isolated in humans from many clinical samples, including blood, tracheal aspirates, several types of secretions, as well as the respiratory and urinary tract," Elisabetta Mondo and her colleagues at the University of Bologna noted.

In animals, species of Klebsiella are associated with infections of the urinary tract, respiratory tract, and sepsis, while K. variicola  has to date been described only in bovine mastitis.

The horse at the center of the case study was admitted to the university's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, part of the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences. It was laboring under respiratory distress and had a fever.

February 12, 2021

Bulgaria: Avian Influenza

The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency reported in a statement on Feb. 3 an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The virus was detected in a farm with 99,000 laying hens in the town of Slavyanovo, some 190 km northeast of Sofia, after mortality there has increased, the statement said. All measures have been taken immediately to eradicate the outbreak, it said.

The last outbreak of the disease in Bulgaria was registered in June 2020, the statement added.

Philippines: African Swine Fever

At least 12 villages in Dulag, Leyte have been placed under strict surveillance due to new cases of African swine fever (ASF), the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced on Jan. 31. These villages are within the 7 to 10 km radius of a confirmed ASF case in Combis village.

"Village officials were given a thorough orientation briefing by the regional task force and proper advice on how to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease," the DA regional office said in a statement. All hog raisers in Dulag, some 41 kilometers south of this city, are advised to closely monitor their respective hogs and report to their municipal agriculture office any observed disease symptoms of hogs and institute strict quarantine measures, avoid swill feeding, and, most importantly, to report immediately any incidence of unusual deaths.

Dulag is the 4th town in Leyte Province with confirmed ASF cases. The first case was in Abuyog town recorded on Jan. 14. Dulag is about 44 kilometers from Abuyog. Other areas with ASF are Javier and MacArthur. Last week, the agriculture department collected blood samples in Dulag after the unusual and sudden death of a sow in Combis village.

"Our appeal to local government units in the adjoining areas is to take immediate action and seriously address the spread of the animal disease in their locality. Create or reactivate their ASF task force by stepping up efforts to regulate the movement of live pigs, pork, and processed pork products that go inside and outside their respective towns," the DA said. Since the ASF outbreak hit the province early in January, at least 1,600 pigs have been culled to contain the spread of the disease.

Initial investigation showed that the ASF virus could have been transmitted to local farms in Leyte through infected boar being used for natural mating and by hog traders who may have fed their stocks with contaminated food products.

United States: Equine Infectious Anemia

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials confirmed equine infectious anemia (EIA) in one quarter horse on a Dallas County premises on Jan. 26. This is the first confirmed case of EIA in Texas this year. The horse was confirmed positive after testing was performed to meet regulatory requirements. The premises have been quarantined and will not be released until TAHC's requirements are met. TAHC staff is working closely with the owner and local veterinarian to monitor potentially exposed horses and implement biosecurity measures.

"Last year, 17 horses tested positive for equine infectious anemia in Texas," said Dr. Andy Schwartz, state veterinarian. "These cases serve as a reminder that EIA is present in our state, biosecurity and sanitary practices are invaluable and required EIA testing for equine event participation and congregation continues to be of the utmost importance."

EIA is an incurable, infectious viral disease spread through blood-to-blood contact, not through close proximity or direct contact. The virus can be transmitted from an infected equine to an uninfected equine by biting flies, the use of unsterilized or contaminated medical instruments, or through a blood transfusion. The commonest clinical sign of acute EIA is fever, which often precedes the development of other signs. In chronic cases, signs such as weight loss, weakness, anemia, and swelling of the lower legs, chest, and abdomen may occur.

Brazil: Yellow Fever

In the municipalities of Palmeira, Anita Garibaldi and Bocaina do Sul, in Serra de Santa Catarina [SC], monkey deaths have been confirmed by the Central Laboratory (LACEN) as yellow fever. The last confirmation came on Feb. 2, in Palmeira.

According to the Municipal Health Secretariat, the monkey was found dead in the Sao Sebastiao do Canoas locality on Jan.19, but the results of the tests were only released now. The test showed that the animal was infected by the sylvatic type disease -- that is, it is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes infected with the virus.

The secretariat also awaits results relating to 3 other monkeys that were found dead in the municipality, in the locality of Mato Escuro. This is the first time in the last 4 years that Palmeira, with just over 6,600 inhabitants, has confirmed yellow fever cases.

This year so far, there are 4 confirmations of monkey deaths from the disease in Santa Catarina. In addition to the Serra, another confirmed case was in the Planalto Norte, in Mafra.

Peru: Rabies

The Departmental Veterinary Medical College of Lima warned that there is a risk that canine rabies could be reintroduced in the capital.

This situation could be due to the weakness of the epidemiological surveillance system in the capital, a vital tool to identify the increase in cases. Last year, in Lima only, 11 samples were received and processed for the diagnosis of rabies, when in the capital, there are about 2 million dogs.

"There should be approximately 4,000 annual samples as epidemiological surveillance, considering the recommendations of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the current regulations on rabies surveillance in the country," the Veterinary Medical College statement warned.

This situation is complicated if we take into account that, in 2020, the Ministry of Health detected 24 cases of canine rabies in the country, of which 20 corresponded to Arequipa and 4 to Puno. Meanwhile, in January of this year alone, 10 cases of rabies were reported in Arequipa. "This highlights the high risk of human rabies cases in Arequipa and canine rabies in other cities of the country, as well as in Lima," he said.

Australia: Anthrax

The first case of anthrax to occur this summer has been confirmed in New South Wales (NSW), prompting the state's Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) to urge producers to vaccinate at-risk livestock.

In late January, anthrax was detected in an unvaccinated mob of ewes and lambs on a property in the state's Central West. The property had a previous history of anthrax. The affected animals were ewes that had not been vaccinated for anthrax, and biosecurity measures at the affected property, including stock movement restrictions and the vaccination of remaining livestock, were immediately imposed.

NSW DPI senior veterinary officer Graham Bailey said while there were no general public health risks or trade implications from the detection, it served as a timely reminder.

Cases of anthrax in NSW tended to occur in a region that runs through the center of the state, between Bourke and Moree in the north, to Albury and Deniliquin in the south, Dr. Bailey said. "Anthrax can be prevented by annual vaccination of cattle and sheep. Producers in high-risk locations are encouraged to consider vaccination," he said. Ingestion of soil by cattle, sheep, and other ruminants was one of the key risk factors for anthrax, Dr. Bailey said.

Australia: Ross River Virus

Health authorities are warning Gippsland residents to protect themselves against mosquitoes following the detection of the Ross River virus in 10 people in Wellington Shire so far this year.

While the latest warning from the Victorian Health Department is for people traveling to the Bellarine Peninsula and surf coast regions, where there has been a big jump in cases in recent months, local infections show the virus is still present in mosquitoes in Gippsland.

A woman was diagnosed with the virus in December and believes she contracted it after being stung by mosquitoes while exercising near Lake Guthridge. Her symptoms have included debilitating pain -- particularly in her feet, ankles, and knees -- and fatigue, which followed a rash early on. While she is slowly recovering now, during the worst of the illness she found it a struggle to just get out of bed and dress.

Congo: Ebola

On Feb. 7, the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared the 12th outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) after the laboratory confirmation of one case in North Kivu Province. The case was an adult female living in Biena Health Zone. To date, the source of infection is still under investigation.

On Jan. 25, the case presented with nasal bleeding. The woman received outpatient care at a local health center, then was admitted to a second health center with signs of physical weakness, dizziness, joint pain, epigastric pain, liquid stools, headache, and difficulty breathing. On [3 Feb 2021], a blood sample was collected for EVD testing due to her epidemiological link with an EVD survivor. She died on Feb. 4.

On Feb. 6, Butembo laboratory confirmed the case positive for EVD by GeneXpert.

February 4, 2021

United States: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

A 4-year-old quarter horse from a private facility in Volusia County has been confirmed with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

The unvaccinated horse showed signs of inability to stand, incoordination, and weakness of hind limbs earlier this month and was euthanized.

This is the first confirmed case of EEE in Florida for 2021.

It appears this may be a year of early vaccination and likely continual vaccination. EEE vaccine is often combined with Western equine encephalitis and tetanus. Sometimes there is also Venezuelan equine encephalitis in the vaccine (VEWT). Some vaccines are missing the Venezuelan portion but have West Nile virus instead. And some vaccines have all of these.

Canada: Pertussis

The Northwest Territories' chief public health officer has declared an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, in the Dehcho region after a total of 7 cases were confirmed in 2 communities. The cases were confirmed in Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson, according to an advisory issued Jan. 13. Last week, officials advised of 4 people that had been diagnosed in Fort Simpson.

Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease that affects the lungs and respiratory tract. It's particularly dangerous to children under one year of age.

This is the second year in a row the territory has declared a pertussis outbreak. An outbreak declared in January 2020 in the Yellowknife and Tlicho regions led to at least 55 confirmed cases.

Residents of Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson are being asked to confirm their pertussis vaccinations as soon as possible by contacting their health center, the advisory states. While the vaccine is safe and effective, the advisory says, immunity from it may fade over time. Boosters are typically offered in Grade 7, and then every 10 years as an adult. Pregnant women are also advised to get a vaccine between 27 and 32 weeks of their pregnancy, regardless of their last dose, in order to protect the newborn.

Kenya: Rift Valley Fever

A roll-out has been launched to vaccinate thousands of cattle in Isiolo County following reported cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) disease outbreak.

The vaccination, which will be carried for the next 21 days in Meri and Garbatula sub-counties of Isiolo, will target animals in hot spot areas where cases have been reported recently. Seven people and more than 100 heads of cattle succumbed to the disease recently in Erisaboru Biliki and Sericho areas of Isiolo County.

Speaking during the launch, Dr. Lawrence Mwongela, the Isiolo County Executive Committee in the ministry of agriculture, said that 150,000 doses of vaccine have been donated by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and at the same time thanked other implementing partners who are working together with the county government to facilitate the success of the program.

Senegal: Avian Influenza

Some 750 pelicans found dead in a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Senegal last week have tested positive for H5N1 bird flu, the head of the parks authority told Reuters. Rangers found the pelicans in the Djoudj bird sanctuary, a remote pocket of wetland near the border with Mauritania and a resting place for birds that cross the Sahara Desert into West Africa each year. The birds were incinerated and the park is closed, said Bocar Thiam, Senegal's parks director.

The sanctuary is a transit place for about 350 species of birds but only pelicans were found dead.

In January, Senegal reported an outbreak of H5N1 on a poultry farm in the Thies region about 120 mi south, resulting in the culling of about 100,000 chickens. It is not clear whether the 2 outbreaks are linked.

Uganda: Foot and Mouth Disease

The authorities in Kiruhuura District have banned all animal movements in the district, one of the latest measures to contain spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD). The disease has persisted since November and has so far spread to the sub-counties of Kikatsi, Kenshunga, Kashongi, Kinoni and Kiruhura Town Council. Each of these sub-counties has at least one farm affected by FMD. Others, including Kikatsi Sub-county, have as many as 8 farms affected by the disease.

"Kiruhura District authorities have stopped all animal movements within and outside the district and suspended all animal slaughter in all centers," the district veterinary officer, Dr. Grace Asiimwe, said. "Looking at the pattern of the spread, it is basically through animal movements; farm to farm or to market centers. When we stop that, we think it will help us to stop the spread [of the disease]. Right now you find an infected farm here, another 3 km away and another 10 km. The only way to control further spread is stopping animal movements," Dr. Asiimwe added.

Early this month, 14 dairies in the sub-counties of Kikatsi, Kenshunga, Kashongi, and Kiruhura Town Council, were closed due to the continued spread of FMD in those communities. The authorities stopped all milk collectors and transporters who had been traversing farms, and urged farmers to cooperate and be vigilant.

United States: Brucellosis

State biologists have found an unusual disease among caribou in Southwest Alaska. The disease is called brucellosis, and the Department of Fish and Game recently detected cases in the Mulchatna Caribou herd; they discovered the first potential case about a year ago.

Biologists typically find the bacteria brucella, which cause brucellosis, in caribou herds to the north, not in the southwestern part of the state. The disease is caused by the bacteria brucella; it can be lethal to caribou, and it can also lead to miscarriages.

"This was the first time we were having actual cases in the Mulchatna herd," Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian for Fish and Game, said. "It's such a low level in caribou throughout Alaska, we don't pick it up very often. Right now, we know there's an increase, because more caribou in the herd have brucella or are showing antibodies."

Biologists have detected those antibodies during routine sampling. They also found the bacteria in 2 dead caribou and have observed swollen knees and enlarged scrotums in others. A common sign of brucellosis in caribou is swelling in the knees, where most of the bacteria are stored.

Germany: Avian Influenza

An outbreak of bird flu on a farm in the eastern German state of Brandenburg has forced authorities to begin slaughtering about 14,000 turkeys, the state government said Feb. 3, reporting the third outbreak there in recent weeks. Type H5N8 bird flu was confirmed in a farm in the Uckermark area, the Brandenburg state government said.

A series of outbreaks of bird flu have been reported in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in past months with wild birds suspected to be spreading the disease.

Sweden planned to cull around 1.3 million chickens after bird flu was found on a farm in the country, Sweden's Board of Agriculture said.

The risk to humans from the disease is considered low, but past outbreaks among farm birds have resulted in extensive slaughtering programs to contain the spread.

January 28, 2021

United States: Chronic Wasting Disease

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirms a wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The DNR says the deer was an adult buck harvested in the Town of Port Edwards during the 2020 gun-deer season and tested as part of the department's disease surveillance efforts.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't necessarily surprised by the announcement we found the first in Wood County, we've seen it pop up in surrounding counties Marathon, Adams, Juneau, and Portage in recent years so it wasn't necessarily unexpected but it is disappointing to continue to see that spread," said Ryan Hafele a Wildlife Area Supervisor for the DNR.

He says there were 19,348 deer tested statewide in 2019 for CWD, and of that 1,338 tested positive for the disease.

Due to the deer's location, the DNR is renewing bating and feeding bans in Juneau, Adams, and Wood counties, as required by law. The law requires the ban in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of the deer testing positive for CWD.

United States: Covid 19

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, public attention has mainly focused on the number of people who become severely ill and die from COVID-19. But what's become clear in recent months is the large and growing group of people who continue to deal with prolonged symptoms long after their original illness.

In a recent study posted on the preprint server medRxiv, analysis of an international survey of more than 3,700 respondents with COVID-19 found that more than two-thirds were still experiencing numerous symptoms at 6 months, with significant impacts on patients' lives and livelihoods. Respondents with symptoms for more than 6 months said they are experiencing an average of nearly 14 symptoms across multiple organ systems.

With more than 95 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, these reports are likely just the tip of the "long COVID" iceberg. And while the world is currently focused on driving down new infections, reducing deaths and hospitalizations, administering new vaccines, and getting the pandemic under control, public health experts are starting to turn their attention to these "long-haulers," as they've come to be known, and the mechanisms behind their lingering symptoms.

China: African Swine Fever

A new form of African swine fever [ASF] identified in Chinese pig farms is most likely caused by illicit vaccines, industry insiders say, a fresh blow to the world's largest pork producer, still recovering from a devastating epidemic of the virus.

Two new strains of ASF have infected more than 1,000 sows on several farms owned by New Hope Liuhe, China's 4th-largest producer, as well as pigs being fattened for the firm by contract farmers, said Yan Zhichun, the company's chief science officer.

Though the strains, which are missing one or 2 key genes present in the wild ASF virus, don't kill pigs like the disease that ravaged China's farms in 2018 and 2019, they cause a chronic condition that reduces the number of healthy piglets born, Yan told Reuters. At New Hope and many large producers, infected pigs are culled to prevent the spread, making the disease effectively fatal.

Although the known infections are limited now if the strains spread widely, they could slash pork output in the world's top consumer and producer; two years ago, swine fever wiped out half of China's 400 million-head pig herd. Pork prices are still at record levels and China is under pressure to strengthen food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Germany: Tuberculosis

At the end of December 2020, a child from the northern district was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The child is symptom-free but receiving medical treatment. The diagnosis was made after a cattle herd tested positive for the bacterium and the veterinary office passed on this information to the Health Department. Because of the large number of infected animals, all cattle in the herd were killed as a precaution and disposed of.

The farm has officially been put under restrictions following the initial confirmation of the disease; neither meat nor milk was supplied to the food chain.

In the course of the family's investigation, two persons tested positive and are undergoing medical treatment.

In the case of tuberculosis, persons who accumulated more than 40 contact hours with the patient are considered exposed; this has been conveyed to the child's secondary school in Geretsried. On Jan. 18, all parents of exposed classmates and their teachers shared a video conference with health officials, during which questions could be addressed. The exposed persons will undergo testing and a follow-up. Such measures are not required in other classes of the school.

Bovine tuberculosis is very rare in this region. Germany is officially free from bovine tuberculosis; it is so far unknown how the pathogen was introduced into the herd. Transmission from cattle to humans is also very unusual. A transfer from animal to animal, however, is quite possible.

United States: Rabies

A dog in Onondaga County, N.Y. tested positive for rabies following an encounter with a raccoon, the Onondaga County Health Department said.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said the dog, a household pet, tested positive for the virus after interacting with the raccoon while on a walk with its owner.

Due to contact with the dog, four people were exposed to rabies, and each were given post-exposure prophylaxis. The dog was not up to date on its rabies vaccinations and began experiencing a behavior change and seizures after the injury from the raccoon.

Though the release said there are no human cases for rabies in Onondaga County, 14 animals -- 5 raccoons, 4 bats, 2 skunks, 1 fox, 1 cat, and 1 dog -- tested positive for the virus in Onondaga County in 2020.

Germany: African Swine Fever

A further outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was confirmed by the National Reference Laboratory at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Federal Research Institute for Animal Health; FLI) when a wild boar carcass was found in the district of Gorlitz.

The location is in the existing buffer zone and is about 2 km west of the Rothenburg/Gorlitz airfield and about 3.5 km from the Neisse. Since this is outside of the previously endangered area, the restriction zones must be expanded. With these 2 new cases, the number of ASF-positive cases in Saxony increases to 19.

Minister of Social Affairs Petra Kopping explains: "The positive find is a boar that was found during the regular game hunt, which is carried out systematically in the buffer zone. The new find makes our fight against African swine fever more difficult."

United States: Chronic Wasting Disease

Wildlife managers have documented chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a new swath of the Green River basin in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department sent out a news release on Jan. 20 announcing a positive hit for the prion disease in a mule deer buck found dead in deer hunt area 138. That 1,628-square-mile zone stretches from the headwaters of Boulder Creek at the Continental Divide, down to the sagebrush-steppe landscape that terminates at Fontenelle Reservoir.

The arrival of the incurable, lethal disease to the southwest slope of the Wind River Range is not a surprise. CWD was confirmed just to the north, in 2017, when the neurological disorder was discovered in a dead mule deer doe found at a property near the Pinedale Airport. Over the crest of the Winds, it has also been documented in an adjoining deer hunt area since 2015.

The chronic wasting disease first showed up in deer on the far west side of the state, but recently it is also being detected in elk in the region. In December, a hunter-killed cow elk shot north of Dubois tested positive.

Australia: Ross River Virus

Ross River fever cases have increased by 260 percent in the southern Riverina in New South Wales, prompting the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) to issue a health alert.

Since Jan. 20, 18 new cases of the mosquito-borne disease had been identified across the district, a significant increase from the fewer than 5 notified cases for the same period last year.

MLHD infectious diseases manager April Roberts-Witteveen said the virus was regularly seen in the area.

"Factors such as weather, rainfall, mosquito numbers, and travel out of the area all play a part in determining whether it is a season with a lot of human infections," she said.

"Ross River virus does tend to ebb and flow a bit. Sometimes we get a huge number of infections, and sometimes we get a slow and steady amount, but this is more than we've seen in the past couple of years."

Congo: Monkeypox

The number of monkeypox cases confirmed and suspected, reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was nearly a 1,000-case increase compared to 2019.

In 2019, DRC reported 5,288 suspected monkeypox cases, a high number, indeed; however, this number was eclipsed in 2020, during which a total of 6,257 suspected and confirmed cases were reported. In addition to the number of deaths from 2019 to 2020 more than doubled: 107 and 229 deaths, respectively.

Monkeypox is a rare disease that occurs throughout remote parts of Central and West Africa, often near tropical rain forests. People at risk for monkeypox are those who get bitten by an infected animal or have contact with the animal's rash, blood, or body fluids. It can also be transmitted person to person through respiratory or direct contact and contact with contaminated bedding or clothing.

Fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion are followed by a rash. Patients are usually ill for 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is fatal in as many as 10% of people who get it. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox.

January 22, 2021

Nigeria: Yellow Fever

At least 112 people from Ogbadibo and Okpokwu local government areas of Benue state are reported to have died from yellow fever since the outbreak of the disease in September 2020.

The state's epidemiologist, Dr. Terungwa Ngise, confirming the incidence in an interview, said that emergency interventions had been mobilized to the affected communities, including immunization, treatment of already infected persons, supply of mosquito nets, as well as depopulation of mosquitoes responsible for the spread of the disease.

Dr. Ngise, however, expressed worry that the spread of the disease had become heightened following the refusal of a section of the Ogbadibo population to submit themselves to the immunization over traditional beliefs that the deaths and disease were cause by the "gods."

Dr. Ngise regretted that such beliefs had frustrated interventions in the area. He, however, said that despite the people's resistance, the state government will not be deterred in efforts to stop the spread of the disease to other parts of the state.

He, therefore, advised residents in the 2 local government areas to attend to personal hygiene by removing all stagnant water found around them, keeping their environment clean, and availing themselves of the second phase of the yellow fever immunization in the area.

Kenya: Anthrax

Fear has hit a village in Sotik after a man died while 6 others were hospitalized after allegedly coming into contact with the carcass of an animal suspected to have died of anthrax. The 60-year-old man from Itoik village died early Tuesday morning at Kaplong Mission Hospital where he was receiving treatment. He is said to have participated in disposing the carcass of the cow.

It is, however, unclear whether the group feasted on the animal. Health officials said the deceased had pale wounds, a sign suggesting he may have consumed the meat. The 6 who are admitted to Tenwek Hospital in Bomet are out of danger.

According to residents, 7 cows have already died in the area following the suspected anthrax outbreak a week ago. Kapkures chief David Langat confirmed the incident, saying the area is prone to cases of anthrax.

County director of veterinary Dr. Wilson Serem confirmed the outbreak of the disease but was quick to exonerate his office from any blame, saying the cases were not reported to them. Addressing the press, Dr. Serem confirmed the area covering Kipsonoi and Mutarakwa is prone to the disease, saying every year cases of the disease are reported.

He said the vaccination of animals against the disease will start in the next one week. "Anyone whose cow dies with symptoms that resemble anthrax should report to us immediately...they should not touch it to avert infections and deaths," Serem said.

Italy: Brucellosis

Italian police on Jan. 19 shut down a dog breeding farm near Ancona in the region of Marche.

Around 850 small dogs were sequestered at Trecastelli near the Marche port city. Five people were placed under investigation.

As well as being packed into tight, poorly aired pens, around half the dogs were found to be infected with Brucella canis, a very infectious dog bug transmissible to man.

Although it held almost 900 animals, the facility was only authorized for a maximum of 61.

Brucellosis in man is also known as undulant fever, Malta fever, and Mediterranean fever.

Germany: African Swine Fever

Another 30 cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been found in wild boars in eastern Germany in a continuing outbreak among wild animals which has halted German pork exports to Asia.

The new cases were in the eastern state of Brandenburg and bring the number of confirmed instances of the disease in wild boar to 527 in the state, Brandenburg's health ministry said. Along with 17 cases in the eastern region of Saxony, this brings Germany's total reported cases to 544.

All were in wild animals with no farm pigs affected. But 2 of the 30 new reported cases were found about 2 kms outside the core zone where other cases were found, the Brandenburg ministry said. Electric fences are being built around the area of the latest finds.

China, South Korea and Japan all banned German pork imports in September 2020 after ASF was found in wild boars in east Germany.

The disease is not dangerous to humans but is fatal to pigs. Pork buyers often impose import bans on countries where it has been found, even in wild animals.

The German government said it is continuing intensive talks with China about relaxing import bans on German pork imposed after the discovery of ASF in the country.

January 15, 2021

United States: Legionellosis

Following an outbreak of legionnaires' disease at a North Portland, Ore., apartment building, more people are suspected to have the illness based on their symptoms.

Initially, health officials reported that 4 people had to be hospitalized, and one of those people ultimately succumbed to the illness and died. At least one more person has been diagnosed with legionnaire's disease, bringing the confirmed total to 5 people.

On Jan. 5, those who live at the Rosemont Court Apartments on North Dekum Street were told to leave their homes.

As of Jan. 7], the Multnomah County Health Department is advising neighbors in nearby buildings to be aware of any signs of the illness. Now, another 4 people are presumed to have the illness based on new symptoms, the county health department said.

Argentina: Hantavirus

A case of hantavirus infection was confirmed in Bariloche. The individual is a 22-year-old young man who is hospitalized in an intensive care unit and remains in stable condition.

While concern about the increasing coronavirus infections is growing, in the traditional city of Bariloche, a registered a case of a hantavirus infection set off alarms for the local authorities.

The classical tourist district in Patagonia is the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Rio Negro province, according to the latest report, 122 deaths, 1333 active cases, and 8007 recoveries have been registered.

Germany: African Swine Fever

The suspicion of African swine fever (ASF) in a wild boar carcass found in Potsdam's Gross Glienicke was not confirmed by the National Reference Laboratory. The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, FLI) was able to rule out ASF through extensive, additional examinations of the sent wild boar carcass.

State Secretary for Consumers Anna Heyer-Stuffer, head of the ASF crisis team, said, "I am very happy and relieved about this result! I would like to thank the animal disease control service of the state of Brandenburg for their quick and professional action. I would also like to thank the city of Berlin, the state capital Potsdam, and the surrounding districts, who made all the necessary preparations within a very short time and thus showed that everyone is prepared for an emergency. Because one thing is clear: ASF can also be carried over long distances by humans. We must therefore continue to be very vigilant to prevent the virus from spreading from infected areas."

The first ASF outbreak in German wild boars was officially recorded in the state of Brandenburg on Sept. 10.

United States: Chronic Wasting Disease

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the doe was killed in the town of Germania during the recent gun deer season. DNR wildlife biologists say there are plenty of deer in the area, and a wild whitetail testing positive for CWD is not out of the question.

"Given the proximity to wild positives and some captive positives, we're going to continue to see the advancement in the presence of the disease," said Jeff Pritzl, DNR District Wildlife Supervisor.

Hunters say they are concerned.

"The CWD thing. It's just terrible. This area is huge. And it's full of deer. It's one of the best deer hunting in the state, I believe. It's got some of the nicest bucks," one said.

January 3, 2021

United States: Rabies

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed a raccoon entered the Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, South Carolina. The raccoon tested positive for rabies. One person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider. The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing and was confirmed to have rabies on Dec. 19

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space," said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program team leader. "If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it, and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator."

If you believe you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or another suspect animal, please reach out to your local Environmental Affairs office. An exposure is defined as direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal.

United States: Strangles

A boarding barn in Carroll County, Maryland, is under voluntary quarantine after one horse tested positive for strangles.

The horse, a 19 year old gelding, developed a cough, fever, and nasal discharge on Dec. 20, and the diagnosis of strangles was confirmed by a veterinarian, according to information reported to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). Twelve other horses at the facility were potentially exposed, and 3 are suspected cases at this time.

Also called equine distemper, the infection known as strangles typically begins 10-12 days after exposure to Streptococcus equi bacteria. First the horse experiences a high fever, depression, appetite loss, and enlargement of the lymph nodes between the jawbones. Copious amounts of thick, yellow pus begin draining from the nostrils, and before 3 weeks are up, the abscessed nodes at the throat may burst open to drain.

United States: Legionellosis

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a North Portland apartment complex has killed one person and sickened 3 others, county health officials said.

Multnomah County health officials said Jan. 5 they told more than 100 residents of Rosemont Court on Dekum Street to leave after residents contracted pneumonia, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The health department said experts linked the outbreak to the apartment's water system. County officials are working to clean the building's plumbing system and remove any remaining traces of Legionella, the bacteria that causes the disease.

The health department is working with Northwest Housing Alternatives, which owns Rosemont Court, to find other places for residents to stay, according to a news release. Multnomah County spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti said residents were staying in Portland-area hotels, per a contract with the county, while health officials investigate the outbreak source.