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World News

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May 26, 2022

Uganda: Anthrax

An outbreak of anthrax disease has been reported in Bududa District. This follows the death of 10 cows in Bumabara village, in Bunatsami sub-county.

The Bududa District agriculture officer, Dr. Felix Odongo, says that tests carried out by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed the disease. He says one person succumbed to the disease, and 13 others are undergoing treatment after eating meat from an infected cow. He adds that they have tentatively halted the sale of animals in the open market and movement of animals in and out of the district. Augustine Wamini, the Bunatsami Sub County councillor, noted that the incident has caused fear among the residents because meat from infected animals was being sold in the markets.

According to WHO for Animal Health, infected animals may present with high fever, muscle tremors, and difficulty breathing seen shortly before the animal collapses and dies. Unclotted blood may exude from all the natural openings, and the body may not stiffen after death.

Iraq: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The Kurdistan Region has recorded a second infection with "hemorrhagic fever" in a citizen of Sinjar district in Nineveh Governorate. Zakho health director, Dr. Shaker Abdel Rahman, said in a statement to Kurdish media that "a resident of Sinjar district was confirmed to have hemorrhagic fever, after he was suspected of hemorrhage due to the bleeding he was suffering from."

Abdul Rahman added, "the citizen was sent to Zakho in the beginning, and then he was sent to Dohuk, where the hospital sent his samples to the Baghdad Central Laboratory." He explained that "the affected person owns sheep and livestock, as he was suffering from some symptoms, and he was rushed to sleep in Zakho Hospital, and we suspected that he was infected, before it was confirmed."

It is noteworthy that this is the 2nd case of hemorrhagic fever in the Kurdistan region, and the 1st was recorded in Erbil a few days ago.

Kazakhstan: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

Since the beginning of the year, 205 people have suffered from tick bites in Qyzylorda. Of these, 3 residents of the city were examined for suspected Crimean-Congo fever, Kazinform's correspondent reports.

"The diagnosis of the first patient was revealed through laboratory, epidemiological and clinical studies. The diagnoses of the other 2 patients have been changed due to the fact that the results of laboratory tests were negative," commented Aiman Zhanakhaeva, spokeswoman for the Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Qyzylorda region.

Earlier it was reported that more than 80 children sought medical help after being bitten by ticks in North Kazakhstan region. More than 800 children were bitten by ticks in the Almaty region, and one probable case of Crimean-Congo fever was registered in Shymkent.

United States: Legionellosis

An outbreak of legionnaires' disease has been reported in a Bronx neighborhood, health officials said May 20.

According to the city Department of Health, 4 people in the borough's Highbridge neighborhood have been diagnosed with the disease, which is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria that forms in warm water. Other individuals are awaiting test results.

Legionnaires' is not contagious and is treatable with antibiotics if caught early, officials said.

The health department said it is investigating and "sampling and testing water from all cooling tower systems in the area of the cluster."

The Legionella bacteria typically grow in "cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems," the department said.

Those experiencing flu-like symptoms such as coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing are encouraged to get tested by their doctor. Those over the age of 50 [years], cigarette smokers, with chronic lung disease, and those with compromised immune systems are considered at higher risk of legionnaires'.

United States: Avian Influenza

A fox kit from Anoka County, Minnesota, has tested positive for a deadly, highly contagious bird flu that has killed countless wild birds this spring [2022] to the concern of wildlife specialists.

The positive case is the 1st confirmed of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, in a wild mammal in Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources [DNR].

It's not unprecedented -- 2 red fox kits in Ontario recently tested positive for the flu strain, the DNR said. They were the 1st reported cases in mammals in North America.

DNR Wildlife Health Program Supervisor Michelle Carstensen said that fox kits already were on the agency's radar, knowing their diet and their biological vulnerability. The DNR was aware of ailing fox kits turning up at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Sherburne County.

Canada: Avian Influenza

Birds at a commercial poultry farm in Abbotsford have tested positive for avian influenza, according to the British Columbia (BC) Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Detection of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus usually requires euthanization of every bird in an affected flock.

In this case, the ministry announced, the farm was put under quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and all other poultry farms within a 10-kilometerradius received notification of the outbreak.

Avian influenza has been spreading globally since late 2021, and cases in Canada this year had so far mostly affected commercial and private flocks of poultry and egg producers in Alberta and Ontario, So far, according to CFIA figures, millions of birds in Canada have either died of the virus or been culled as a result of outbreaks. Avian influenza is not a food-safety concern for humans eating cooked poultry or eggs.

The news of the latest outbreak, confirmed by the CFIA, comes after confirmed positive tests in seven small private flocks throughout the province. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, those "backyard" flocks were in Richmond, the central Kootenays region, Kelowna, and Armstrong. The Abbotsford case is the 1st farm to be affected in the Fraser Valley during this latest outbreak, the ministry said.

Fiji: Leptospirosis

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services - Fiji reports 2068 lab-confirmed cases of leptospirosis this year. A slight upward trend in cases with case numbers is noted above the outbreak threshold nationally, driven by cases in the Western Division.

Case numbers in the Western Division are increasing and remain above the outbreak alert threshold, indicating more cases than the expected number for this time of the year for this endemic disease.

The leptospirosis bacterium Leptospira spreads to humans through the urine of infected animals, such as cows, pigs, rats, and dogs. To reduce your individual risk, it is important to understand that exposure to animals, soil, mud, and floodwaters during work or recreational activities increases your risk of infection.

Important prevention measures include wearing full covered footwear at all times when going outdoors, avoiding wading or swimming in flooded waters, using clean fresh water to wash up after exposure to muddy waters, and keeping all food and drinks covered and away from rats. For workplaces, practice good personal hygiene at all times, cover cuts and wounds well, and use protective equipment, especially footwear when in flooded and/or muddy areas.

Sierra Leone: Anthrax

Sierra Leone's health authorities have confirmed the first cases of human infections of anthrax, less than a week after an outbreak of the disease was reported in animals. The Ministry of Health says 3 people tested positive for the bacterial infection which was first confirmed in animals May 22 in the northern Port Loko district. A spokesman in the Ministry of Health said the human cases were detected in the neighboring Karene District*.

Harold Thomas, Communications Lead in the Directorate of Health Security and Emergencies in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) told ManoReporters that samples from 4 people who presented with symptoms of the disease were tested and 3 came back positive for anthrax.

In Port Loko, over 200 animals have been confirmed dead due to the outbreak. Officials in the ministries of Agriculture and Health said they mounted an investigation in response to reports of several unexplained deaths of animals in Tinkabere Village in Kamasondo, Bakeloko Chiefdom. A total of 223 livestock - 91 heads of cattle, 53 goats, and 79 sheep - were eventually confirmed dead.

According to Thomas, there has been no indication of human-to-human transmission, which means that those who were infected in Karene might have gotten it from either infected animals, animal products, or bacteria spores.

Indonesia: Foot and Mouth Disease

The first suspected outbreaks of FMD in Indonesia occurred in cattle on village premises in the northern and western suburbs of Surabaya. This was the 1st report to OIE of FMD in the region, although it is endemic in neighboring countries in mainland South-East Asia.

Initial clinical cases were diagnosed as bovine ephemeral fever and were treated unsuccessfully before further disease spread and mortalities were observed, so it is suspected that FMD could have been spreading in cattle on Java since mid-April. Surabaya is the 2nd-largest city in Indonesia. The diagnosis was reported to the OIE.

As of May 11, cattle in 4 districts of the East Java province (Java) and 2 districts in Aceh province (Sumatra) have been affected by FMD. There are reports of 79 outbreaks in East Java and one in Aceh.

Burundi: Rift Valley Fever

The Burundian Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock alerted on May 23 of the detection for the 1st time in the country of Rift Valley fever (RVF), with an estimated loss of at least 100 head of cattle.

"Since the end of April 2022, cases of an animal disease mainly affecting cattle with an unusual clinical picture have been reported in the provinces of Kirundo and Ngozi, in the north of the country," underlined Serges Nkurunziza, Managing Director of Breeding.

Symptoms include abortion, nasal bleeding, hyperthermia, diarrhea often mingled with blood, generalized weakness and inappetence leading to death. According to him, since the outbreak of this disease, 100 cases of cattle mortality have been recorded.

Currently, this disease has already spread to other provinces of the country, such as Kayanza (north), Karusi (center), Cibitoke (west), Bujumbura (west) and Makamba in the south of the country.

General: Monkeypox

Around 20 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease, with more than 100 confirmed or suspected infections mostly in Europe. The outbreaks are raising alarm because monkeypox, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere.

Countries reporting outbreaks this year include: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.

 

May 19, 2022

United States: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

A 1-year-old spayed female rabbit tested positive for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said May 13.

Known as RHDV2, the infection is a foreign animal disease caused by multiple virus strains. It is highly contagious and can be fatal to domestic and wild rabbits.

It cannot, however, be transmitted from animals to humans, the department said.

The rabbit death's reportedly happened May 8. A laboratory test confirmed the infection.

Another rabbit from the premises also died from what is being considered potentially RHDV2 related, the department said. Another rabbit on the premises has been quarantined and isn't showing the disease's signs

The outbreak's source has not yet been identified, and there is no evidence of infection in other locations.

United States: Strangles

On May 10, the Ohio State Racing Commission revealed that a single case of strangles had been confirmed on the backstretch of Thistledown Racing in North Randall. Three barns were placed under quarantine, and no horses were allowed on or off the grounds at that time.

The OSRC released the following update on the case to the Paulick Report on May 10:

From more than 250 swabs from the 3 quarantined barns, there was one swab that returned a suspect test for Strep. equi. That horse was located in the same stable as the first confirmed positive. The horse with the suspect test for Strep. equi was removed from the grounds and placed into isolation on the same farm as the 1st horse.

The barn that had the horse with the suspect remains in quarantine. The other 2 barns at Thistledown have been released from quarantine.

Horses are allowed to ship into Thistledown, however, once on the grounds they are not allowed to leave until the horses who are stabled in the affected barn at Thistledown complete the 2nd swab in approximately 2 weeks.

Strangles is a highly contagious respiratory bacterial disease which is characterized by swelling in a horse's lymph nodes around the horse's head and jaws. The swollen lymph nodes will sometimes abscess, and the abscesses may rupture and drain through the skin or into the guttural pouch, which may cause additional infection and complications.

United Kingdom: Monkeypox

In London, 2 individuals have been diagnosed with monkeypox, confirms the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The cases live together in the same household. They are not linked to the previous confirmed case announced on May 7. Where and how they acquired their infection remains under investigation.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not spread easily between people. It is usually a mild, self-limiting illness, and most people recover within a few weeks. However, severe illness can occur in some people.

The infection can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person; however, there is a very low risk of transmission to the general population.

One of the cases is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. The other case is isolating and does not currently require hospital treatment.

As a precautionary measure, UKHSA experts are working closely with the individuals and NHS colleagues and will be contacting people who might have been in close contact to provide information and health advice.

South Africa: Lassa Fever

South African health authorities reported May 13 a case of Lassa fever diagnosed in a man from KwaZulu-Natal.

The man had extensive travel history in Nigeria before returning to South Africa. He fell ill after entering South Africa and was hospitalized in a Pietermaritzburg hospital. The diagnosis of Lassa fever was confirmed through laboratory testing conducted at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a Division of the National Health Laboratory Service. Sadly, the man succumbed to the infection. Currently efforts are underway to trace and monitor all possible contacts. No secondary cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed at the time of this report.

Cases of Lassa fever in travelers returning from endemic countries are reported from time to time. In 2007 a case of Lassa fever was diagnosed in South Africa. The case involved a Nigerian citizen with extensive travel history in rural parts of Nigeria before falling ill, and he received medical treatment in South Africa. No secondary cases of Lassa fever were reported in this instance.

Lassa fever is a viral infection that is endemic to the West African countries and mostly reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria. Lassa fever is less frequently reported from Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast. Up to 300,000 cases of Lassa fever, with about 5,000 deaths, are recorded annually in the endemic countries. Currently there is no vaccine for Lassa fever.

The natural host of this virus in endemic countries is a rodent species called the multi-mammate rat. The rats are persistently infected and shed the virus in their urine and feces. Humans can come into contact with the virus through direct contact or inhalation of the virus in areas that are infested with the infected rats, e.g., contact with contaminated materials, ingestion of contaminated food, or inhalation of air that has been contaminated with urine droplets. Person-to-person transmission of the virus does not occur readily, and the virus is not spread through casual contact.

Indonesia: Foot and Mouth Disease

Minister of agriculture Mentan Syahrul Yasin Limpo said that a serotype of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus that was attacking local cattle in 6 [regencies] had been found. Therefore, the manufacture of FMD vaccine in the country will soon be accelerated.

"While waiting, the director general (DG) livestock and animal health at the Ministry of Agriculture [DG AH-MOA]) has been assigned to import vaccines. Not [a large quantity], just [while] waiting for the vaccine to be available because it takes time to manufacture. In 14 days the director general will bring it," Syahrul said in a press statement.

The DG AH-MOA, Nasrullah, added that the Commission of Veterinary Experts is currently conducting discussions, to accelerate the implementation of domestic FMD vaccine manufacture. "God willing, hopefully we can make it as soon as possible. Because we have made it before, when the FMD was released, only the serotype was different so it had to be remade again. But the instrument, the expert, is with us," he said. "Earlier, the minister said, the serotype has been found. Serotype O with strain Ind-2001, apparently this is common in South East Asia," continued Nasrullah. At the same time, he said, efforts will be made to increase the immunity of farm animals.

"This FMD is a virus so there is no cure but there is prevention. While waiting for the vaccine to be made, we import it for areas affected by FMD. If it is not exposed [animal population], we will use our own vaccine," said Nasrullah.

Sierra Leone: Anthrax

Sierra Leone has reported an outbreak of the deadly anthrax disease for the first time in almost 30 years. Authorities say cases were detected in animals in the north western region of the country, where more than 200 livestock were confirmed to have died.

The country's minister of agriculture Abu Bakarr Karim made the announcement at a press briefing on May 16. Officials say it followed reports of animals dying in Port Loko District, from where samples were collected and tested and the result came back positive for anthrax.

Anthrax is described as a serious infectious disease caused by a bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals. Humans can also get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. But the disease is treatable.

Officials told journalists that no human case had been recorded so far in the Sierra Leonean outbreak, and they said they were considering instituting measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Portugal: Monkeypox

Portugal has 5 confirmed cases of monkeypox, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) said in a statement, noting that the country has more than 20 suspected cases of the virus. "This May, more than 20 suspected cases of infection with the monkeypox virus were identified, all in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, 5 of which have already been confirmed by the National Institute of Health. The cases, mostly young, and all male, are stable, presenting ulcerative lesions", says the statement from the DGS.

The statement also indicates that the DGS centralizes "at this stage, all actions of detection, assessment, management, and risk communication related to these cases, through the Center for Public Health Emergencies (CESP)".

The monkeypox virus is in the Orthopoxvirus genus and causes a communicable disease through contact with animals or close contact with infected people or contaminated materials, explains the DGS.

"The disease is rare and, usually does not spread easily among humans," the statement from the health authority clarifies. "Individuals who present ulcerative lesions, skin rash, palpable lymph nodes, possibly accompanied by fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, and tiredness, should seek clinical advice. In case of suspicious symptoms, the individual should refrain from direct physical contact [with other people]," the statement from the DGS adds which also indicates that the disease does not require specific treatment and is "usually self-limited in weeks."

United States: Monkeypox

The confirmed case poses no risk to the general public.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) on May 18 confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult male with recent travel to Canada. Initial testing was completed at the State Public Health Laboratory in Jamaica Plain and confirmatory testing was completed at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local boards of health, and the patient's healthcare providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious. This contact tracing approach is the most appropriate given the nature and transmission of the virus. The case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-to-4 weeks. In parts of central and west Africa where monkeypox occurs, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products. The virus does not spread easily between people; transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

Panama: Leishmaniasis

Last week, the minister of health, Luis Francisco Sucre, reported that there has been an increase in cases of leishmaniasis in the country, according to an El Siglo report. He detailed that to date more than 240 cases have been reported, a higher number than in previous years. The Metropolitan Health Region is the one that has registered the most cases to date, with 31 people affected.

The minister reported that leishmaniasis is transmitted by a vector and occurs in some areas where they are in greater contact with nature; for example, the regional areas in Nägbe Buglé, Cerro Azul, 24 de Diciembre, and even in Guna Yala.He gave assurance that a strategy is being devised to reinforce the team to make more diagnoses and be able to attend to these people.

People with cutaneous leishmaniasis who develop clinical evidence of infection have one or more sores on their skin. The sores can change in size and appearance over time. The sores may start as papules (bumps) or nodules (lumps) and may end up as ulcers (like a volcano, with a raised edge and central crater); skin ulcers may be covered by scab or crust. The sores usually are painless but can be painful.

May  12, 2022

Iceland: Avian Influenza

On May 3 it was confirmed that the bird flu virus that has been causing all kinds of bird species both wild and domestic to succumb to the disease, is the same one that has been circulating in Europe.

Brigitte Brugge, a specialist for poultry diseases, concluded the diagnosis. "What we have seen now with research over the last 2 weeks is that these bird flu viruses are widespread in wild birds in Iceland. We have now found these viruses in different bird species," she says.

Brigitte says it is quite clear that bird flu viruses have entered the country with migratory birds this spring.

A total of 18 positive samples from dead birds have been found in 16 places all over Iceland. 7 wild bird species have been affected by the virus: barnacle goose, sea eagle, raven, greylag goose, white-fronted goose, black-backed gull, and the northern gannet.

Congo: Plague

The Rethy health zone, located in Djugu territory, Ituri province, DR Congo, continues to report cases of plague. A total of 101 suspected cases of bubonic plague with 2 deaths (case fatality rate 1.9%) have now been reported.

To date, 2 health areas continue to report human cases of plague: Lokpa at 97 cases or 96% and 1 death; Rassia at 4 cases or 3.9% and 1 death. Of the 11 villages affected, Dzavikpa remains the most affected (47 cases or 46%), followed by Nioka forest (11 cases or 10.9%).

During the week of April 18, the Uketha Health Area reported 77 dead rats in 17 households. One household in Godu village, reportedly lost its entire guinea pig farm of 50 individuals. The investigation team was able to collect a sample from a black rat that tested positive for plague using RDT (rapid diagnostic test). The response team immediately proceeded to disinsectize these households with deltamethrin.

Indonesia: Foot and Mouth Disease

A Foot and Mouth Disease [FMD] outbreak has been reported in a provincial city in Indonesia, presenting an alarming escalation in biosecurity threats for the Asia Pacific region and Australia's livestock sector.

The FMD diagnosis has been made by an Indonesian reference laboratory and is yet to be formally confirmed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Beef Central understands the Indonesian Government is in the process of collecting samples to send to an OIE world reference laboratory in England for formal diagnosis and determination of the exact strain so appropriate vaccines can be ordered.

Details of the reported incursion are laid out in an official East Java Provincial Government incident report and suggest the disease may have been spreading in cattle in and around the city of Surabaya on the large Indonesian island of Java for some weeks.

England: Monkeypox

A person in England has been diagnosed with monkeypox, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.

The patient had recently travelled from Nigeria, which is where they are believed to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK, the UKHSA said.

The person is receiving care at the expert infectious disease unit at the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which kills up to 1 in 10 of those infected but does not spread easily among people.

It is the 7th ever case of monkeypox in the UK and is the only case recorded since 2 patients were identified in North Wales in 2021.

United States: Legionellosis

Health officials have confirmed a fourth case of Legionnaires' disease in a guest who stayed at the Grand Islander by Hilton Grand Vacations in Waikiki.

The 4th case was diagnosed on April 16, the state Department of Health said. The individual with the disease is a non-Hawaii resident who stayed at the hotel. The 1st case was diagnosed in June 2021, followed by another in early March and a 3rd case in early April.

"Legionnaires' disease can potentially have severe consequences, and we encourage anyone who developed symptoms following a stay at the Grand Islander to contact a physician and DOH," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a statement. "We are encouraged that the Hilton has brought in additional experts and is stepping up efforts to pinpoint potential sources of contamination and treat water sources as a precautionary measure."

United States: Avian Influenza

The Iowa Department of Agriculture is confirming a new case of the bird flu in Bremer County.

This backyard flock is the 2nd confirmed case of HPAI in Bremer County, Iowa. The 1st case was in a commercial turkey flock.

Officials say flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual deaths to state officials.

This brings the number of detections in Iowa up to 19. The following is the up-to-date list of commercial and backyard HPAI detections in Iowa:

Italy: African Swine Fever

African swine fever has been found in a wild boar in Italy's capital Rome, reported Reuters, citing a statement from the regional government.

An isolated outbreak of the deadly hog disease was reported in northwest Italy at the start of the year and the Rome case was the 1st time the illness had been detected in the center of the country.

Several thousand boars are believed to live in and around Rome, foraging for food in often overflowing rubbish bins. Officials carried out tests after a dead boar was discovered in the north of the city, and found it had swine fever.

African swine fever is harmless to humans but often fatal to pigs, leading to financial losses for farmers. It originated in Africa before spreading to Europe and Asia and has killed hundreds of millions of pigs worldwide.

Algeria: Foot and Mouth Disease

Three outbreaks of serotype O foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) have been detected in Algeria since March 28. The phylogenetic characterization of the strains in question is not yet available.

This episode comes 3 months after Tunisia detected 6 outbreaks of serotype O. The disease had been absent from Tunisian territory since March 2019. Phylogenetic analyzes of the Tunisian strains had confirmed the EA-3 topotype, with 99.4% homology with Nigerian strains identified in 2021, and 97.1% homology with the O/EA-3 strain that had circulated in Maghreb in 2018-2019. These results were in favor of a new introduction of foot-and-mouth disease from sub-Saharan Africa.

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

In South Australian [SA] piggeries, 2 new detections of Japanese encephalitis (JE) have been reported, including in the Mid Murray.

This brings the total number of cases in SA to 9, including the detection of cases in Murray Bridge and Coorong in March.

SA Pork assures shoppers there are no food safety issues associated with eating pork meat.

The 2 latest detections of JE on properties in the Mid Murray and Loxton Waikerie local government areas align with a February infection period. JE was known to be circulating in the South Australian environment at this time.

India: Kyasanur Forest Disease

A native of Sagar taluk, found infected with Kyasanur Forest disease [KFD], died at a hospital in Manipal on May 3. The man was admitted to the government hospital at Sagar and later he was shifted to Manipal in Udupi district. However, his condition did not improve and he succumbed to fever.

The victim was a member of Aralagodu Gram Panchayat [village council]. In the period 2019-20, many cases of KFD were reported in the gram panchayat and more than 20 people died.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare has taken up surveys in the locality to identify people with symptoms of the disease.

Georgia: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

Three people are being treated at the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital for a serious infectious disease -- Crimean Congo fever, said Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a particularly dangerous natural focal disease characterized by fever, severe intoxication, and hemorrhages on the skin and internal organs.

According to him, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health is actively working with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture to ensure that livestock is properly treated. The disease was first identified in 1944 in Crimea.

CCHF is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus Nairovirus of the Bunyaviridae family. Symptoms come on suddenly with fever, myalgia (muscle pain), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, back or lower back pain, headache, eye inflammation, and photophobia (sensitivity to light). There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen and throat, followed by sudden mood swings and confusion. After 2 to 4 days, excitement may be replaced by drowsiness, depression, and fatigue, and pain in the abdomen may be localized in the right upper part.

Nigeria: Monkeypox

Since September, Nigeria has continued to report sporadic cases of monkeypox (MPX). The monkeypox National Technical Working Group (TWG) has been monitoring cases and strengthening preparedness/response capacity.

A total of 46 suspected cases has been reported since Jan. 1. Of the suspected cases, 15 were confirmed from 7 states - Adamawa (3), Lagos (3), Cross River (2), FCT (2), Kano (2), Delta (2) and Imo (1) - but no death has been recorded.

The 10 new suspected cases in April [2022] were reported from 7 states - Bayelsa (3), Lagos (2), Kano (1), FCT (1), Delta (1), Edo (1) and Ogun (1).

The 5 new positive cases in April [2022] were confirmed from 4 states - Lagos (2), FCT (1), Kano (1) and Delta (1).

From September [2017] to [30 Apr 2022], a total of 558 suspected cases have been reported from 32 states in the country.

Canada: Equine Infectious Anemia

On March 23, Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System officials reported the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) quarantined a Ponoka County, Alberta, premises after a horse there tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA).

An accredited veterinarian had drawn a test sample from the horse at the owner's request in preparation for export to the United States. The horse did not exhibit any clinical signs when sampling occurred.

The CFIA is investigating and has put movement controls on other contact animals on the premises. Controls will remain in effect until all disease response protocols have been fulfilled, including additional testing and ordering confirmed cases be destroyed.

Officials have recommended improved biosecurity measures to the owners and might perform trace-out activities at additional premises as required by policy.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

Following an equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak which began on March 21 in DeKalb County, Indiana, a 3rd horse's polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results confirmed another case of EHV-1.

The remaining 8 horses suspected of having EHV-1 remain isolated at the quarantined facility by order of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH). No additional horses among the 30 exposed have been identified as suspect cases.

Israel: Foot and Mouth Disease

According to an investigation by the organization "Israel against live shipments", an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] has been spreading in Israel among farm animals for several months. The disease affected in particular calves from the meat industry (71% of the victims).

All live shipments to Israel originate from countries that are considered "free" of the disease, in which the animals are not vaccinated against it. The disease entered Israel from the Palestinian Authority. Since the beginning of the outbreak in February, 240,000 unvaccinated calves and lambs (as of the end of April 2022) have arrived (and continue to arrive) in Israel...

The virus strain had not been isolated in Israel before, and a vaccine used by the Ministry of Agriculture's veterinary services does not protect against it. The organization calls for an extension of quarantine times and warns of sanitary and environmental hazards caused by violations of importers' procedures.

May 5, 2022

United States: Avian Influenza

The first human case associated with the H5 bird flu in the United States was detected in a Colorado man. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared information on the case with the public April 28, adding the "public health risk assessment remains low." The CDC adds people who have job-related or recreational exposures to infected birds are at a higher risk of infection and should take appropriate precautions.

The CDC has been monitoring people exposed to H5N1 virus-infected birds since the outbreaks were first detected in wild birds and poultry in late 2021. To date, H5N1 viruses have been found in US commercial and backyard birds in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states. CDC has tracked the health of more than 2,500 people with exposures to H5N1 virus-infected birds, and this is the only case that has been found to date. Other people involved in the culling operation in Colorado have tested negative for H5 virus infection, but they are being tested again out of an abundance of caution. Several wild birds have tested positive for the virus in Colorado.

"This is the second human case associated with this specific group of H5 viruses that are currently predominant, and the first case in the United States," part of a news release from the CDC reads. "The first case internationally occurred in December 2021 in the United Kingdom in a person who did not have any symptoms and who raised birds that became infected with H5N1 virus. More than 880 human infections with earlier H5N1 viruses have been reported since 2003 worldwide, however, the predominant H5N1 viruses now circulating among birds globally are different from earlier H5N1 viruses."

Canada: Avian Influenza

A poultry flock has been infected with a new strain of bird flu, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said April 26.

There are now 19 outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu in Ontario. The federal agency estimates 250,000 birds in the province have been impacted since the first outbreak was declared in March.

The other outbreaks closest to London are near Durham in the Municipality of West Grey, in Chatham-Kent and near Thamesford in western Oxford County. Control zones have been set up around each property, so officials can control the movement of people and birds on and off those farms.

Outside of Ontario, there are outbreaks in every province except Prince Edward Island.

In 2015, federal and provincial officials spent months containing and eventually eradicating another strain of bird flu. That outbreak was contained to 3 farms in Oxford County. About 80.000 birds, mostly turkeys, were wiped out.

China: Avian Influenza

China has recorded the first human infection with the H3N8 strain of bird flu, the country's health authority said April 26, but said the risk of it spreading among people was low.

A 4-year-old boy from central Henan province was found to have been infected with the variant after developing a fever and other symptoms. No close contacts were infected with the virus, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement. The child had been in contact with chickens and crows raised at his home, it added.

The H3N8 variant has previously been detected elsewhere in the world in horses, dogs, birds and seals, but no human cases of H3N8 have been reported, said the NHC. The commission said an initial assessment determined the variant did not yet have the ability to effectively infect humans, and the risk of a large-scale epidemic was low.

Many different strains of bird flu are present in China and some sporadically infect people, usually those working with poultry. Last year China reported the first human case of H10N3.

China has huge populations of both farmed and wild birds of many species, creating an ideal environment for avian viruses to mix and mutate. Growing surveillance of avian influenza in people also means more infections are being picked up.

 Iraq: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The Division of Communicable Diseases Control in the Dhi Qar Health Department announced unprecedented rates of [infection with Crimean-Congo] hemorrhagic fever, and has called for the activation of veterinary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

The local government accused the Ministry of Agriculture of not providing resources for the control of parasitic insects that carry the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Haider Ali Hantoush, Director of the Communicable Diseases Control Division, told Al-Mada that "since the middle of 2021 until today, unprecedented and unexpected rates of [the Crimean-Congo] hemorrhagic fever have been recorded", noting that the total infections (cases) amounted to 30, including 10 deaths during the same period."

Hantoush added that "the infections have resulted in 16 cases and 7 deaths during the 2nd half of 2021, 14 confirmed cases and 3 deaths during the first 3rd of 2022," stressing that "deaths constitute a 3rd of the number of the infected." He pointed out that "infections with hemorrhagic fever increased during the past year and the current year," revealing that "the last case and death recorded in the past was in 2018, while the years 2019, 2020 and the first half of 2021 did not witness any infection."

Hantoush pointed out that "infections began to escalate during the second half of 2021 and have continued so far to record unprecedented rates." He stressed that "[the Crimean-Congo] hemorrhagic fever is a serious disease with a death rate of 40%."

South Sudan: Anthrax

There is an outbreak of anthrax infection in human beings in Warrap after laboratory analysis showed positive results, state health officials have declared.

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as _Bacillus_. The disease occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. People can also get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.

Dr. John Akol, the acting director general at the ministry, said they made the declaration after samples of 20 patients suspected of anthrax, which were taken to Uganda for further laboratory tests, were confirmed positive. Akol reveals the local authorities are in coordination with the national ministry of animal resources to contain the spread of the disease.

Some of the suspected cases under investigations were reported at Alek, Kuach North, and Payams in Gogrial West County in March [2022]. "Now the ministry of health and ministry of animal resources and fisheries in the state will work together to see the way forward to contain this disease," Akol told Sawa Sawa Network.

Germany: Lyme Disease

In Berlin, the number of reported cases of Lyme disease has increased in recent years. In 2021, 994 cases of the disease triggered by tick bites were reported to the Robert Koch Institute. In 2020, there were 959 cases, and in 2019, the number was 851 cases. "There were significantly more forest visitors in the pandemic years, so that was certainly an important factor in the increase," Berlin-based biologist and tick expert Olaf Kahl told German Press Agency.

Tick activity has not been particularly high since 2020, he said. "People have been exposed to more tick bites due to increased visits to the countryside," said the managing director of tick-radar GmbH, which conducts research projects on ticks nationwide. Fewer than 800 cases had been reported to the RKI in both 2017 and 2018.

According to Kahl, the months from March to July are the months with the strongest tick activity on average over many years. With their bite, ticks can transmit bacteria and viruses that trigger diseases such as Lyme disease and meningitis [encephalitis] (TBE) [Tick-Borne Encephalitis].

Those who stay on wide paths do not have to fear tick bites in forests and parks. As soon as one leaves the ways, however, it becomes dangerous. The animals hide in the leaf litter.

United States: Tuberculosis

Washington's tuberculosis (TB) cases are on the rise, putting state and local public health officials on heightened alert. Widespread disruptions in public health and healthcare services and missed TB diagnoses due to similarities in symptoms between COVID-19 and TB are thought to have contributed to TB cases rising both locally and globally.

TB reporting decreased in 2020 during the first year of the pandemic. Though efforts to prevent COVID-19 may also reduce the spread of TB, the decrease could also have been due to delayed or missed TB diagnoses because of strains in the health care system. Some people with TB may also have been misdiagnosed as having COVID-19.

Cases then rose notably beginning in 2021, when 199 cases of TB disease were reported, a 22% increase from 2020. Thus far in 2022, 70 cases have been reported and officials continue to monitor the situation closely. 17 new cases of TB disease all have connections with each other and several Washington state prisons, making it the state's largest outbreak in the last 20 years.

"It's been 20 years since we saw a cluster of TB cases like this," says Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Washington State Chief Science Officer. "The pandemic has likely contributed to the rise in cases and the outbreak in at least one correctional facility," added Kwan-Gett. "Increased access to TB testing and treatment in the community is going to be key to getting TB under control."

April 29, 2022

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

Experts say Japanese encephalitis will impact pork supply as infected piggeries experience production losses of up to 80%.

There are now 30 New South Wales piggeries affected by the mosquito-borne virus and 11 people have been infected, with 3 deaths nationwide. Japanese encephalitis is endemic in other parts of the world, but it has never been seen this far south in Australia.

NSW Department of Primary Industries chief veterinary officer Sarah Britton said it had been a stressful time for pig producers. "They have had huge impacts on production -- up to 60 to 80% of production impacted in some sites," she said.

"It's also the mental health impact on the people, because there's been a lot of stillborn or abortions or abnormalities in piglets ... which can be very stressful seeing ... day in, day out."

The disease has no impact on the safety of consuming pork, but Dr. Britton said production losses were likely to affect availability. "I think it will affect the supply of pork, because it has impacted a number of the bigger properties as well as some of the smaller ones," she said.

United States: Equine Influenza

An attending veterinarian has confirmed a 5-year-old gelding is positive for equine influenza (EI) at a private facility in Deschutes County, Oregon. The under-vaccinated pleasure riding pony began showing signs of fever, cough, inappetence, and nasal discharge and tested positive for EI on April 12.

The facility has isolated the pony and enacted a voluntarily quarantine of the property. Five other horses are suspected to be EI-positive, and 10 horses have been exposed.

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that infects horses, ponies, and other equids, such as donkeys, mules, and zebras. The virus that causes it is spread via saliva and respiratory secretions from infected horses. Horses are commonly exposed via horse-to-horse contact; aerosol transmission from coughing and sneezing; and contact with human's contaminated hands, shoes, or clothes or contaminated tack, buckets, or other equipment.

Clinical signs of equine influenza infection can include a high fever (up to 106°F [41.1 deg C]); a dry, hacking cough; depression; weakness; anorexia; serous (watery) nasal discharge; and slightly enlarged lymph nodes. Consider monitoring your horse's health at shows by taking his temperature daily, which can help you pick up on signs of infection early and take appropriate measures to reduce disease spread.

Canada: Avian Influenza

The avian flu is beginning to infiltrate Quebec farms, reported at 4 separate sites in less than a week.

On April 17, Canada's food inspection agency (CFIA) confirmed detection of the H5N1 strain at a poultry flock in Les Sources, a municipality in Quebec's Estrie region.

Bird flu was also detected in the Brome-Missisquoi, Hait-Saint-Francois and Val-Saint-Francois regions last week.

"The infected sites have been placed under quarantine," reads the CFIA website. "The CFIA has established movement control measures and is recommending other farms in the area increase biosecurity."

The highly infectious strain had only been identified among wild geese in Quebec, but has evidently made its way into domesticated populations.

Congo: Monkeypox

A total of 52 fatalities have been attributed to monkeypox this year to date.

Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but generally causes a milder infection. It can be spread between people through direct contact with skin lesions or body fluids, or contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. It can also be spread through large respiratory droplets which generally cannot travel more than a few feet, and prolonged face-to-face contact is required.

Illness typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes, progressing to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks. The individuals identified as having been potentially exposed to this case will be monitored for symptoms of monkeypox for 21 days after exposure.

Human monkeypox infections primarily occur in central and western African countries.

India: Japanese Encephalitis

Authorities in Bihar's Muzaffarpur and its neighboring districts are working on strategies to prevent acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) as rising temperature and humidity reignite fears of an outbreak. The focus this time is very much on not letting the deadly disease, locally known as chamki bukhar, spread, rather than rushing to provide treatment to children diagnosed with AES like in past years.

At least 2 children have died of the disease in the last 110 days. They were from Sitamarhi and Vaishali districts.

Some 18 children -- 12 boys and 6 girls -- diagnosed with AES have been admitted to the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur so far in 2022. It was reported that around half-a-dozen children suffering from the disease were admitted at different private hospitals.

A health official in Muzaffarpur said the AES situation was likely to take a turn for the worse in May, when the summer would be at its peak. Usually, AES cases see a surge in May-June, when the mercury touches the 42-44 deg C [107.6-111.2 deg F] mark.

Congo: Ebola

A new case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever has been confirmed in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo, 4 months after the end of the country's last outbreak.

The National Institute of Biomedical Research said that a 31-year-old male was detected in Mbandaka city, the capital of Congo's Equateur province.

The patient's symptoms began on April 5, but he did not seek treatment for more than a week. He was admitted to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 and died later that day, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.

"Time is not on our side," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa.

"The disease has had a 2-week head start and we are now playing catch-up," Moeti said.

The WHO said that efforts to contain the disease are already under way in Mbandaka -- a crowded trading hub on the banks of the Congo River where people live in close proximity. The city has road, water and air links to the capital Kinshasa.

Australia: Meningitis

The Department of Health reported that an elderly person has been diagnosed with meningococcal serogroup Y disease and is currently in hospital.

Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, life-threatening illness caused by a bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain, and occasionally of other sites, such as the throat, lungs, or large joints.

To date in 2022, 5 meningococcal cases have been reported in WA; 3 were serogroup B, and 2 were serogroup Y. In 2021, a total of 10 meningococcal cases were reported, and there were no deaths.

There are 2 types of meningococcal vaccines available: one protects against 4 serogroups of the meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W, and Y) and the other protects against serogroup B.

The MenACWY vaccine is offered free to all children at 12 months of age. In addition, the MenACWY vaccine is offered to all Year 10 students, with a free catch-up program for 15-19-year-olds.

Due to a higher rate of meningococcal disease in Aboriginal children in WA, the MenACWY vaccine is offered free to Aboriginal children from age 6 weeks to 12 months of age. The menB vaccine is free for all Aboriginal children aged up to 2 years of age. Both vaccines are also free for people of all ages with certain medical risk conditions.

Mexico: Avian Influenza

The National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica), confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza [HPAI] H7N3 in 2 commercial poultry production buildings in the municipality of General Cepeda, Coahuila, where the immediate slaughter of 70,000 birds was ordered..

Reunion: Leptospirosis

The Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Reunion issued an alert on April 19. It identified an upsurge in cases of leptospirosis on the island. Since the beginning of the year, 99 cases of leptospirosis have been declared, the majority of which occurred in recent weeks.

"Leptospirosis is a serious disease. If it is not treated in time, it can lead to hospitalization or even death," warns the ARS.

This increase in cases is due to recent episodes of heavy rains on the island. Humans contract the disease through contact with a damp environment that has been contaminated by the urine of rats and other rodents. Mud, puddles, or stagnant water are favorable grounds. These heavy rains promote "soil leaching and environmental contamination," points out the ARS.

Guinea: Lassa Fever

Health authorities in Guinea announced that they had identified a case of Lassa hemorrhagic fever, a viral disease related to Ebola, in the south of the country.

The Lassa fever virus was detected in a 17-year-old patient "coming from the sub-prefecture of Kassadou," in the prefecture of Guéckédou (south), where the epidemic was declared, indicated the Ministry of Health in a press release published April 22.

The patient is being treated in a care center in Guéckédou, in the Nzérékoré region, and "her condition is currently satisfactory", according to this press release.

The virus was identified by a laboratory in Guéckédou and "a 2nd test carried out at the reference laboratory in Conakry confirmed the 1st result", specifies the text.

An investigation is underway in the villages concerned "to identify all contacts and their follow-up. For the moment, no other case has been notified."

United States: Avian Influenza

In the past few days, 2 turkey vultures found dead on the University of Wyoming main campus have been determined to be the latest Wyoming victims of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel collected the turkey vultures and submitted them to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL). As part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the WSVL is approved to test for HPAI. The vultures were found to have Eurasian HPAI, first detected in the US in January.

While this viral disease may be highly lethal to birds, current assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that HPAI is not a human health concern at this time. However, there have been rare human infections with this strain of H5N1 HPAI overseas. People should exercise care and avoid contact with sick or dead wild birds and poultry.

Since being detected in the US in January, the virus has spread to poultry in at least 29 states, affecting over 28 million domestic birds and untold numbers of wild birds. The WSVL first detected HPAI in Wyoming poultry in late March. Subsequently, HPAI has been diagnosed in various domestic and wild bird species across the state. Current information on HPAI in the U.S. may be found on the USDA-APHIS website.

Uganda: Yellow Fever

On March 6, WHO received notification from the Uganda Ministry of Health of 4 suspected yellow fever cases. As of April 25, a total of 7 suspected cases tested positive for yellow fever antibodies by plaque reduction neutralization test. However, further investigations identified only one laboratory-confirmed case of yellow fever reported from Wakiso district, Central Region. The MoH declared an outbreak, and a rapid response team was deployed to the affected districts. Due to the potential of epidemic spread in Uganda and the risk of spread to neighboring countries, WHO assesses the risk to be high at the national and regional levels.

Cases presented with symptoms including fever, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, intense fatigue, anorexia, abdominal pain, chest pain, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. None of the cases presented with severe yellow fever symptoms of acute jaundice.

The majority of the suspected cases were females with an age range between 15-57 years. Of these, 5 were reported from Wakiso district, and one each from Masaka and Kasese districts.

India: Scrub Typhus

The health department has issued an alert in Madhya Pradesh regarding scrub typhus after a few cases were reported from some districts. At present, the alert has been sounded for 3 districts -- Jabalpur, Satna, and Khargone.

Dr. Himanshu Jaiswar, deputy director health, said, "An alert has been issued for scrub typhus in the state. Districts from Vindhya, Bundelkhand, and other regions have reported a few cases and so the health department is not taking any chances and has issued an alert." The Regional Director of Jabalpur division, Dr. Sanjay Mishra issued an alert regarding scrub typhus directing the health officials to spread public awareness related to the disease. The risk of scrub typhus continues to haunt Satna, Jabalpur, and Mandsaur as last year the maximum number of patients of the disease were reported from these districts.

To prevent the growth of scrub typhus, the Directorate of Medical and Health Department has decided to run a research project in these 3 districts with help of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal.

Scrub typhus spreads to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). According to doctors, symptoms of scrub typhus start developing after 6-21 days of the [tick] bite. The common symptoms of scrub typhus include high fever, chills, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash, according to doctors. The skin also starts turning black after the worm bite and soon blisters develop.

April 15, 2022

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

An 18 year old horse was euthanized after being diagnosed with equine herpes virus, type-1 (EHV-1). Seven days after the Friesian mare developed hind limb weakness the diagnosis was confirmed, according to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC).

Highly contagious, EHV-1 most often causes mild-to-moderate respiratory illness (rhinopneumonitis), but the infection occasionally leads to the life-threatening neurologic disease equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). The mechanisms through which EHV-1 produces neurologic disease are not yet understood.

Two other horses on the King County, Wash. property subsequently developed fevers and have been tested for EHV-1. Results are still pending. Meanwhile, 25 other horses at the boarding barn are considered potentially exposed and the entire facility is under official quarantine.

South Africa: Foot And Mouth Disease

The latest outbreak of foot and mouth disease [FMD], confirmed in the Viljoenskroon area of the Free State, is a localized, exceptional event, and with the cooperation of all stakeholders the situation can be brought under control soon, according to Gerhard Schutte, chairperson of the National Animal Health Forum. He told Farmer's Weekly that this outbreak was merely a continuation of the illegal movement of animals outside the FMD disease management areas in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. "This boils down to industrial sabotage and is very concerning. As an industry we have already given our full support to the authorities to bring the transgressors to book."

The Free State was one of South Africa's most important livestock-producing regions, Schutte said. But the impact of FMD had a wider fallout than just meat production, and also affected the mohair, dairy, wool and wildlife industries, among others. "Everybody needs to be included in the solution."

The Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the case April 7. The department's member of the executive council, Thembeni Nxangisa, said this followed investigations on 3 farms after suspicions were raised about the movement of cattle from North West to Gauteng. While the cattle on one of the farms tested negative, testing of the others confirmed a single case of FMD. All the farms were placed under quarantine, Nxangisa said in a statement. "[Cattle on] another farm are also being investigated in the Frankfort area following the procurement of calves from a speculator in Randfontein. Veterinary personnel are [now] on the ground implementing appropriate control measures to prevent further spread of the disease. Farmers should, however, remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior in their animals."

Kazakhstan: Anthrax

A 26 year old resident of the Turkestan region, who developed symptoms of anthrax, was taken off the train to Kokshetau. The man and his wife were placed in the center of infectious diseases, Kazinform correspondent reports. According to the chief state health doctor of the city of Kokshetau, the man had a fever on the train when he and his wife went on vacation to a sanatorium in the Burabay district.

"As it turned out, earlier he and his friend bought meat from a relative -- horse meat. First, a friend fell ill, then this man was identified by contact. Since the infectious disease department is located in Kokshetau, he was immediately hospitalized yesterday to the infectious disease department, in a state of moderate severity. The diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax was confirmed. He was the only one with symptoms. But his wife is also in the hospital, although her test is negative. Contacts were identified for the car (train compartment). The medical service issued a decision on medical observation," K Iskakov explained.

As the interlocutor added, anthrax is transmitted only from an animal to a person when eating meat or when cutting carcasses. It is almost impossible to get infected from a sick person; this requires contact with the patient's blood. Meanwhile, the chief state health doctor of the Akmola region, Ainagul Musina, added that the last case of anthrax among Aqmola residents was registered in 2019.

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

On March 29, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) hosted a webinar focused on the recent outbreak of Japanese encephalitis virus in pigs and people in Australia. Veterinarians from Australia along with US-based experts shared field experience, epidemiology and potential risks for transboundary introduction of JEV into the United States.

The webinar offered a snapshot of the current situation and provided information to improve the identification and management of an unexpected outbreak. SHIC remains attentive to emerging swine disease issues around the globe to inform the US pork industry for better preparedness and response activities; 183 participants from 21 countries joined the webinar live.

Kirsty Richards, a veterinarian with the SunPork Group in Australia, shared background information on JEV in their country webinar. A flavivirus, JEV is in the same family as West Nile virus, St Louis encephalitis virus and Murray Valley encephalitis virus. The virus is maintained in a cycle between mosquitoes and vertebrate hosts, mainly ardeid birds such as herons, egrets and bitterns. JEV spills over into other species including pigs, humans, horses, and other domestic animals. Humans and horses are considered dead-end hosts because they usually do not develop high levels of viremia, while pigs are an amplifying host. Richards noted human cases have been diagnosed, with some mortalities, in Australia as well as cases of reproductive and neurological disease in pig herds.

In February 2022, JEV genotype 4 was identified in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia. As of March 29, more than 50 pig farms across the eastern seaboard of Australia and in South Australia were diagnosed with JEV. The Australian Government/Department of Health is reporting 34 human cases, 24 confirmed and 10 probable.

Kenya: Lumpy Skin Disease

The Murang'a County government has embarked on massive vaccination of cows following an outbreak of lumpy skin disease [LSD]. Three cows succumbed to the disease in Kiria in Mugoiri location, prompting authorities to order farmers in the upper region of the county to present their animals for vaccination. Teams have vaccinated animals in Kiharu and Gatanga to check against the possible spread of the disease.

Kiharu veterinary officer George Wamenjo said the disease was first reported in Kiria village, Mugoiri location, Kahuro sub-County, where 15 cows contracted the disease. He said 1,000 livestock have been vaccinated, with farmers paying about 87 cents per animal.

In Gatanga sub-county, departmental head Moses Karanja said they were vaccinating 80 cows per day. Dr. Karanja said no deaths have been reported in Gatanga sub-county.

Russia: Anthrax

Anthrax infection in a resident of the village of Kakashur, Karabudakhkent district, has been confirmed, and residents are undergoing emergency chemoprophylaxis and vaccination, the Ministry of Health of Dagestan reported. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that a resident of the village of Kakashura, Karabudakhkent region, was hospitalized with suspected anthrax; 6 people, including 3 children, are at risk. The district authorities announced the introduction of quarantine in the village.

A case of cutaneous anthrax was confirmed in the Karabudakhkent region. "The patient has been hospitalized in the infectious disease hospital in the village of Gurbuki and is receiving all the necessary treatment, nothing threatens his life," the Ministry of Health of Dagestan said.

A circle of contact persons at risk of infection has been identified; they are given emergency chemoprophylaxis with antibacterial drugs. More than 100 residents of the village have received an anthrax vaccine, and disinfection measures have been taken, the department said in a message on the Telegram channel. The head of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov, introduced quarantine in a part of the Karabudakhkent region where the anthrax outbreak was detected. A ban has been established on visiting the farm by unauthorized persons, except for the personnel working there, and the import and export of livestock is prohibited.

Canada: Avian Influenza

Four more bird flu outbreaks were reported by the federal government on April 7, including one at a farm in Chatham-Kent. With the addition of the latest cases, a total of 10 outbreaks have been declared in Ontario since March 27.

The Chatham-Kent outbreak is in a poultry flock, but the agency did not say what kind of bird.

There are also 2 new cases in poultry flocks in Markham and one in Prince Edward County in a backyard flock on a hobby farm. In all of the cases, the food inspection agency has confirmed tests show the presence of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

Before April 7, half a dozen properties in Ontario had been quarantined, including a farm in western Oxford County, where the movement of birds and eggs is being restricted inside one of 2 control zones set up by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ontario.

Samples taken by the agency are sent to a lab in Winnipeg each time an outbreak is confirmed. "So there's a time delay" before a case is confirmed, said Ingrid DeVisser, a turkey producer in Bruce County who heads up the Feather Board Command Centre, the poultry industry's emergency response team. Farmers and scientists can be tipped off by a high mortality situation, which happens when a larger than usual number of birds in a flock die. DeVisser said the poultry farmers she's talked to are "very, very concerned" about the situation. "We're all taking this very, very seriously," she said.

United States: Avian Influenza

The bird flu is spreading to additional poultry flocks in Minnesota, according to the state Board of Animal Health. The latest outbreak of avian influenza has now affected 15 flocks in the state, up from 7 April 1.

The newly reported cases all are in commercial turkey flocks -- 2 in Kandiyohi County and one each in Becker, Dodge, Le Sueur and Stearns counties, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. Previously, the bird flu was found in commercial flocks in Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Morrison and Stearns counties, as well as backyard flocks in Mower and Stearns counties.

The affected flocks so far include more than 636,000 birds. Birds in affected flocks are euthanized as part of efforts to keep the virus from spreading. The outbreak is a serious threat to Minnesota's turkey industry, with nearly 700 farms that raise about 40 million birds a year. In 2015, 9 million birds in Minnesota were killed by the virus or euthanized to slow its spread.

Congo: Plague

As of April 8, the Rethy Health Zone, located in Djugu Territory, Ituri Province, Congo continues to report plague cases with a total of 33 suspected cases of bubonic plague, including 2 deaths. Two health areas out of a total of 22 areas are affected, mainly Lokpa with 31 cases and one death and Rassia with 2 cases and one death. All 10 villages within the Lokpa health area reported suspected plague cases.

The coordination of the field response is ensured by the health zone management team with the technical support of the plague surveillance and control center of Bunia and, as of April 8, additional material support of Malteser International [NGO] (sampling kits, rapid diagnostic tests), deltamethrin (an insecticide), and doxycycline (an antimicrobial).

India: Kyasanur Forest Disease

Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD), commonly called monkey fever, has resurfaced. A case had been confirmed in Kaanasuru primary healthcare center limits.

A 47 year old man from Devisara is being treated for KFD in the administrative division hospital. "A man has contracted monkey fever. There is no need for worry as the antiviral vaccine has been given to over 90% of the population, Dr. Lakshmikant Naik told the Deccan Herald.

There is no specific treatment for KFD, but early hospitalization and supportive therapy is important. Supportive therapy includes the maintenance of hydration and the usual precautions for patients with bleeding disorders.

China: Avian Influenza

The Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is monitoring a human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The case involves a 28 year old male living in Puyang in Henan Province, who had exposure to live poultry before onset. He developed symptoms on March 18 and is in critical condition.

Since 2014, 75 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by mainland health authorities. "All novel influenza A infections, including H5N6, are notifiable infectious diseases in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CHP said.

Travelers to the mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.

Travelers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases. It is essential to tell the doctor if they have seen any live poultry during travel, which may imply possible exposure to contaminated environments. This will enable the doctor to assess the possibility of avian influenza and arrange necessary investigations and appropriate treatment in a timely manner.

Kenya: Yellow Fever

Yellow fever has claimed the lives of 7 people in Isiolo since Jan. 12 when the first cases were detected. Residents have been asked to use treated mosquito nets and clear bushes in their villages to prevent transmission of the disease. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Isiolo County public health director, Guracha Sarite, said the health department had in the last month carried out 61 tests out of which 53 were found to be highly suspicious and were subjected to further tests, where 8 cases were confirmed. He said 3 suspected cases had been reported in Bulapesa and Burat neighbouring Isiolo town, saying they suspect the 3 traveled from lower areas of Ewaso Nyiro River which are the most affected.

The Ministry of Health last month declared an outbreak in the county after the disease claimed 3 lives in Garbatulla. The government put Wajir, Garissa, Meru, Samburu, Baringo and Turkana counties on high alert.

"We are not out of danger yet and appeal to our people in the lower areas to clear bushes in their neighborhoods and use treated nets to prevent further transmission," Sarite said. He said the county government has activated an emergency response and will soon roll out a fumigation exercise in the affected areas to get rid of mosquitoes.

Mozambique: Malaria

Health authorities in Niassa province are worried about the increase in deaths from malaria. In the first 3 months of this year, the province recorded 40 deaths from the disease. This represents an increase of around 29% compared with the same period last year, when around 109,000 cases and 34 deaths were recorded.

Director of the provincial health service, José Manuel, said that the provincial government was developing a strategic plan for the distribution of mosquito nets, with a view to reducing the number of cases. Manuel was speaking at the 6th ordinary session of the Council and State Representation Service.

United States: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

A highly contagious and "lethal viral disease" is spreading among rabbits at a Utah park -- and it prompted a warning for tourists. Visitors to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah could see more dead rabbits than usual at the park, the National Park Service said

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease, also known as RHDV2, was found in wild cottontail rabbits inside the park in Uintah County, officials said. Park visitors need to stay away from any dead or sick rabbits they may find. "The virus does not infect humans, but other causes of illness and mortality in rabbits can," park officials said in a news release. "The public is instructed to remain cautious and to follow the instructions ... to protect themselves, pets, and rabbits in this area."

Tourists who see dead or sick rabbits should tell monument staff, park officials said. They shouldn't touch or move the rabbits. Dogs also should be kept on a leash and shouldn't interact with the rabbits. Dead rabbits must be disposed of with special protective equipment. Park rangers need to know when the rabbit was found, its species, and the specific location of the carcass. A photo is also helpful, officials said.

United States: West Nile Virus

On April 8, the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported its 1st human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Dallas County for 2022.

Officials say the patient is a male resident of the 75219 zip code in Dallas and was diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND).

WNV is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected when they feed on the blood from infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then transmit WNV to humans and animals. Severe WNV infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis.

"We are in the early stages of WNV season and must start thinking about the possible threat that West Nile virus poses to our community as people go outside to enjoy outdoor activities," said Dr. Philip Huang, DCHHS Director

Dominican Republic: Bluetongue

The general directorate of livestock warned that any animal or batch of animals imported into the country must be certified by the nation of origin that it is free of diseases.

Through its director, Geovanny Molina, the institution reiterated the importance of the Dominican Republic maintaining and guaranteeing animal health in the national territory. He assured it is a mission that must be fulfilled, and it will always be done while adhering to due respect for norms and protocols, but without twisting its arm in the face of particular interests.

He specifically referred to the cases of bluetongue disease, after a quantity of 12 animals had been received at the Animal Forty Station of the Las Americas International Airport (AILA), imported from the United States, which, after rigorous analyzes were carried out, determined they were positive, so the institution proceeded accordingly.

"Bluetongue is a disease-causing ailment affecting ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, and other animals. It does not affect humans," added Molina.

He explained that for animals entering the country, compliance with a quarantine is established, which must be rigorously complied with at the Airport of the Americas, since it is the only authorized entry point for live animals.

Pakistan: Lumpy Skin Disease

A rise in the cases of Lumpy skin disease [LSD] is being witnessed despite the vaccination of cattle in Sindh.

According to the Livestock Department, the number of LSD cases in Sindh has reached 34 761, and 374 cattle heads have so far died of the disease.

In addition, as many as 14,600 cattle heads are currently infected with the virus.

Mongolia: Foot and Mouth Disease

Mongolia plans to launch a month-long nationwide vaccination campaign against the infectious animal foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), starting April 18, its State Emergency Commission (SEC) said.

Since the beginning of this year, a total of 422 epicenters of FMD have been registered in 20 of the country's total of 21 provinces due to an FMD outbreak, according to the SEC.

As of April 13, a quarantine regime has been continued in 145 epicenters in 15 provinces, it said.

The landlocked country strives to develop its livestock sector by increasing meat exports in a bid to diversify its mining-dependent economy. However, frequent outbreaks of livestock animal diseases such as the FMD, lumpy skin disease, and mad cow disease impede its endeavor.

The country's meat exports have been suspended since last June due to infectious animal diseases, according to the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Turkey: Lumpy Skin Disease

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has instructed 81 provincial directorates to stop lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccination. Gülay Ertürk, President of the Veterinarians Association, stated that there is currently uncertainty regarding the allegations and said, "Normally, there is no disease from the vaccine. The vaccine is given to strengthen the immune system of the animal. But if there is any problem with the content of the vaccine and the conditions it is in, it is possible to talk about such things only in those cases," he said.

In the news published in the Milli Gazete with the signature of Sadettin Inan, it was claimed that the BVD [bovine viral diarhea] virus was involved in the LSD (capripox) vaccine, which is one of the mandatory vaccines of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which was applied during the spring months, and that this situation was concealed by the Ministry.

Harun Seçkin, General Director of Food and Control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, sent a letter to the provincial directorates of agriculture with the code 'rush'. The letter, addressing "LSD and FMD [foot-and-mouth disease] vaccination," includes the following: "Within the scope of the animal diseases control program carried out by our Ministry, vaccines for both diseases are applied simultaneously for protection against LSD and FMD. I would like to request that the vaccination be limited to the FMD vaccine application until the 2nd instruction is being sent by our General Directorate and that the use of LSD vaccination should be stopped throughout your province.

Saudi Arabia: MERS

Saudi Arabia reported 6 fresh cases of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from August [2021] through February 2022, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The country also recorded 4 deaths from MERS infection during the period, the United Nations health agency noted. Household contacts of the 6 patients tested negative for the infection.

The respiratory disease was first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. The virus resurfaced after 9 years in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

The country recorded 11 new MERS infections and 2 deaths from January to July 2021, according to the August 2021 bi-annual update by the global health body.

The world has witnessed 2,585 cases and 891 associated deaths so far, data available with WHO showed. The case fatality rate of the disease is 35%, according to the health agency.

The cases were concentrated in countries in the Arabian Peninsula, barring an outbreak in May 2015 during which South Korea and China recorded 186 cases and 38 deaths, WHO said.

Iraq: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture announced April 11 that it intends to launch campaigns against diseases that affect animal flocks, after announcing the registration of several infections and deaths with the hemorrhagic fever virus in Dhi Qar Governorate.

The director of the veterinary department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Thamer Habib Hamza, said in a statement to the official newspaper that "a vaccination campaign against diseases that affect animal foci for the current year will soon be launched," noting that "it is assumed that there will be at least 4 to 5 free vaccination campaigns during the year to ensure that no disease is transmitted between animals, especially the common ones, and its danger lies in its transmission to humans."

Regarding the nature of the disease, animal epidemiologist Baher Razak explained, according to the newspaper, "Hemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that affects humans, cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats and camels, after exposure to a tick bite that carries the virus, and the infection is transmitted through blood contaminated with tick blood when a person removes the tick from the skin, crushing it or squeezing it with their hands.

He added that "slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians, are the most vulnerable to infection, by its transmission through contaminated blood of carcasses through wounds or mucous membranes," noting that "the disease has never risen to the level of an epidemic, and its first cases were recorded in Iraq in 1979."

 

April 8, 2022

Congo: Plague

Since March 27, Rethy Health Zone (RHZ), located in the Djugu Territory, Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), reported 16 suspect bubonic plague cases, including 2 deaths

On March 28, the central office of the RHZ was alerted by the attending nurse of the Rassia health center on the death of a 30-year-old woman, coming from the village of Lokpa. She was admitted on March 26. Although given gentamicin treatment at the health center, her health condition degraded. A growingly painful swelling in the right inguinal fold accompanied by vomiting, coughing and intense asthenia led to her death on the morning of March 28

On March 30, the health zone team accompanied by Dr. Pascal Adroba arrived to support the health zone management team and organized a rapid investigation in Lokpa village, consulting the records of the Lokpa health center. The team traced 9 additional active suspected plague cases, including 3 cases under observation transferred at the Kpandroma health center and 6 cases at the Lokpa health center.

During the investigation, residents reported rat die-offs in peridomestic settings since March 23. A family cluster was identified with 3 of 7 people sick in the household and reported the death of 6 guinea pigs [known to be sensitive to plague.). The carcasses of the dead guinea pigs were eaten by crows. Fearing to lose the 4 remaining guinea pigs, the family cooked and ate them. Two bubo aspirates were positive with the RDT provided by Malteser NGO.

On March 31, the Lokpa health center reported 3 more cases and the death of a 5-year-old child with cough and blood-stained sputum. The team proceeded to safe burial of the deceased 5-year-old. Five houses were sprayed with deltametrin to control fleas, and 53 people received either doxycycline and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis as appropriate.

Uganda: Yellow Fever

The Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) declared a yellow fever (YF) outbreak. On March 6, the MOH reported 4 cases of YF confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

As of March 16, a total of 8 cases were reported, of which 7 have been investigated and 4 have a history of vaccination against YF.

Uganda falls within the YF endemic zone in Africa and is classified as a high-risk country in the "Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics" (EYE) Strategy. The exact prevalence and incidence of YF in Uganda is not known. In addition, the country has previously registered several YF outbreaks with the most recent outbreaks reported in 2020 in Buliisa and Moyo districts, and 2019 in Masaka and Koboko districts.

Spain: Q Fever

In addition to COVID-19 and influenza A, which strongly broke out in Asturias at the beginning of March, there is now another respiratory infection, known as Q fever. An "epidemiological rarity," according to doctors from the Principality Health Service (Sespa), of which there have been several cases in the last week, mainly in health area III, with an epicenter at the San Agustín de Avilés Hospital.

The affected patients were admitted with pneumonia, which the diagnostic tests carried out by the doctors attributed to an acute manifestation of Q fever. This infectious disease, triggered by an intracellular bacterium that receives the scientific name of Coxiella burnetii, is spread by domestic animals, such as cows, sheep or goats. Ticks also transmit this "peculiar" bacillus, which finds its breeding ground in rural areas "and is not very common."

Q fever can be contracted by drinking raw milk (unpasteurized) or after inhaling dust from a stable where, for example, there is urine or feces from an infected animal. Typically, it presents as a flu-like syndrome, with mild symptoms. But in its acute phase, this disease is characterized by high fever, headache, fatigue, chills, sore throat, nonproductive cough, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and chest pain. The process that can lead to "atypical" pneumonia.

Bangladesh: Cholera

 

The prevalence of diarrheal diseases is alarmingly increasing in Dhaka and its adjacent areas. Some 1,317 diarrhea patients were admitted to the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB) in Mohakhali on March 29. Another 745 patients were admitted March 30, and another 1,334 had been admitted March 28 -- the highest in the last 60 years. Almost every one minute, one diarrhea patient is being admitted to the hospital, according to the data.

The number of diarrhea patients started increasing on 15 Mar 2022. In the past 13 days, 17,680 diarrhea patients have been admitted at the facility. Dr. Baharul Alam, head of Hospitals, ICDDRB, told The Business Standard there is no sign of the number of diarrhea patients declining -- 50 patients are going there every hour.

The ICDDRB has issued some instructions for diarrhea patients. It has suggested a packet of oral rehydration salts (ORS) saline mixed with half a liter of pure drinking water. The solution replaces the lost fluids and essential salts, thus preventing or treating dehydration and reducing the danger. Adults (10+ years of age) have to have one glass of saline once a day to make up for fluid loss. Patients need to take other fluids like green coconut water, soup, and juices. Children need to take saline based on weight. Supplementary feeding should be provided to under 2-year-olds alongside breast milk. Over 6-month-old babies have to take all types of liquid meals alongside saline.

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

NSW Health is urging the community to stay vigilant and take precautions against mosquito bites following confirmation that a further 2 NSW residents were infected with Japanese encephalitis (JE) earlier this year. A total of 10 NSW residents have now been infected with JE, with the latest 2 confirmed cases in the Riverina region.

The 9th case is a young man from Carrathool Shire LGA whose infection onset was in January. The 10th case is a man aged in his 70s from Lockhart Shire LGA whose infection onset was in late February.

Early evidence shows mosquito numbers are declining; it remains important that people throughout the state continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites. Recent flooding in the Northern Rivers Region has led to an increase in local mosquito populations, so people in this area need to be particularly vigilant.\

The JE virus is spread by mosquitoes and can infect animals and humans. The virus cannot be transmitted between humans, and it cannot be caught by eating pork or other pig products. There is no specific treatment for JE, which can cause severe neurological illness with headache, convulsions and reduced consciousness in some cases.

South Africa: Foot and Mouth Disease

A member of the Executive Council] of Economic Development, Agriculture Environment and Rural Development, Parks Tau, has put an alert on livestock farming sectors and products processors of animal origin to be aware of the outbreak of the Foot-and-Mouth (FMD) disease in Gauteng.

The outbreak has been detected on a farm in the Randfontein area.

Other suspicious cases are being investigated in Tarlton, Fochville, Walmansthal and Ondersterpoort.

The department is urging all farmers to exercise caution and be vigilant for signs of symptoms on their livestock and should report to the Veterinary Services for investigation purposes.

Farmers are advised to exercise extra precaution and refrain from buying cattle, sheep, pigs and goats from sellers whose livestock health status is unknown or from FMD control areas.

Cameroon: Cholera

Cameroon is struggling to contain a cholera outbreak that has sickened 6,000 people with the bacterium and killed nearly 100 since February. Authorities have dispatched the ministers of health and water to affected areas and have begun quarantining cholera patients to prevent it from spreading. Cameroon's Public Health Ministry said the number of cholera patients received in hospitals was growing by the day.

In the seaside city of Limbe in the past week alone, 200 of 300 patients were treated and discharged from the government hospital. Filbert Eko, the highest-ranking official in Cameroon's Southwest region, where Limbe is located, said the region was the worst hit by cholera, with more than 800 cases since February, forcing the quarantining of patients to prevent the disease from spreading.

"The treatment center will be separated from the hospital and from the public. No outsider will be allowed to have access to the patients," Eko said. "We don't want contact between families and the patients. We are taking [efforts] upon ourselves, searching for resources to feed these patients free of charge."

Fiji: Leptospirosis

A total of 91 confirmed cases of leptospirosis were recorded in Fiji in the last week. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services also noted that 134 cases were reported since the last update a week ago, and 43 more cases recorded for previous weeks.

Ministry permanent secretary Dr. James Fong said while a decreasing trend was noted in the last update, they were now seeing an upward trend in cases in the last week, driven by increasing lab-positive cases from the Western Division.

In the Western Division, Dr. Fong said there had been 617 cases, with 62 new cases in the last week, and 8 more reported for previous weeks. He said while the case trend was downward in the last update, numbers had increased again beyond the outbreak threshold in the Western Division in the last week.

In the Central Division, there have been 556 cases, with 17 new cases in the last week and 30 more cases for previous weeks. Dr. Fong said case numbers had continued to decline below the outbreak threshold in the Central Division in the last week.

In the Northern Division, there have been 307 cases, with 9 new cases in the last week. He said case numbers had continued to decline below the outbreak threshold in the Northern Division in the last week and were now at levels below the expected for this time of the year.

Fiji: Typhoid Fever

The Health Ministry says the number of typhoid fever cases has exceeded the outbreak threshold in the Western Division, where there have been 50 cases so far in 2022. There have been 83 confirmed cases of typhoid fever in Fiji in 2022, with 7 new cases on the week ending March 28.

Permanent secretary for health, Dr. James Fong, said there is also a slight upward trend in cases noted in the Northern Division last week, driven by a localized outbreak in Cakaudrove and that there have been 13 cases in the North in 2022, with 3 new cases since April 1. Dr. Fong added that typhoid cases in the Central and Eastern Divisions are below the average or at the average numbers expected for this time of the year.

There have been 5 deaths from typhoid fever so far in 2022.

Canada: Avian Influenza

Bird flu has been found in a poultry flock at Neyaashiinigmiing. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced March 31 the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) was at the Cape.

Last week the CFIA also confirmed the disease was in turkey flocks in Woolwich Township, in Waterloo Region; in Zorra Township in Oxford County; and Township of Guelph/Eramosa in Wellington County.

A notice posted on the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation website on April1 also confirmed bird flu in a poultry flock at Neyaashiinigmiing but didn't identify the variety of bird involved.

Japan: Avian Influenza

A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been detected in a dead fox in Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, prefectural officials said. This marked the first case of bird flu being detected in a mammal in the country, according to the Environment Ministry.

An H5 subtype bird flu virus has been detected in 5 of 7 crows found dead on March 29. The fox was found on March 31 in an area close to the point where the crows were collected, according to prefectural officials and other sources.

The fox is believed to have been infected with the bird flu by eating the dead crows, according to ministry and prefectural officials. The transmission risk of avian influenza to humans is low, but the flu can kill a large number of poultry if an outbreak occurs on farms.

Brazil: Leptospirosis

The tragedy caused by heavy rains in Petrópolis in February triggered cases of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease associated with contact with contaminated water, reports the State Department of Health. In the first 3 months of 2022, Petrópolis recorded 99 probable cases of the disease, compared with only 3 notifications in the same period in 2021.

With the storms of recent days, the city hall issued an alert for the possibility of new cases of the disease. People who have had contact with water or mud from floods and who have fever associated with headaches or muscle pain should seek a health unit, reinforces the SES.

"It is very important that the population immediately seek medical attention if they present symptoms compatible with the disease. Health services should also pay attention to the inclusion of leptospirosis in the clinical suspicion and differential diagnosis of suspected cases of dengue and chikungunya. Historically, the notification of leptospirosis increases in periods of rain", says the secretary of state for health, Alexandre Chieppe, in a note sent to the press.

England: Listeriosis

The UK Health Security Agency, Food Standards Agency, and Food Standards Scotland are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to smoked fish. This contamination could be particularly unsafe to people who are vulnerable to listeria infection -- including people who are pregnant and people with certain underlying conditions or who are taking medications that can weaken the immune system.

Listeria is a bacterium that causes an illness called listeriosis. It is widespread in the environment and can contaminate a range of food at low or standard refrigeration temperatures. It can be destroyed by thorough cooking. It is of most concern in chilled, ready-to-eat foods that do not require further cooking, such as smoked fish.

Most people won't have any symptoms of the infection or will only experience mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, which usually pass within a few days without the need for treatment. People who are pregnant are at increased risk of developing listeriosis, which can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or severe illness in their newborn babies. More serious infections such as severe sepsis and meningitis can develop in those with weakened immune systems or those over 65 years of age.

Ukraine: Leptospirosis

Since the beginning of 2022, 5 cases of leptospirosis have been detected in the Khmelnytskyi region: 2 of them among migrants.

This was reported by Public News with reference to the infectious disease doctor of the Khmelnytskyi City Infectious Diseases Hospital Elena Markevich. According to the doctor, there are currently 3 patients diagnosed with leptospirosis in the medical facility; 2 cases were recorded among internally displaced persons.

"The condition is moderate. Some will recover. One patient was discharged recently. There was also a case where the patient had both leptospirosis and a coronavirus infection. In 2021, during this 3-month period [January, February, and March 2021], there was one case in the city of Khmelnytskyi, and up to 3 cases in the region. Infectious diseases proceed in waves: one year there are fewer of them, one year there are more of them," says the infectious diseases specialist.

According to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health, leptospirosis is a dangerous zoonotic (common to animals and humans) infectious disease. Symptoms range from mild (headaches, fever, muscle aches, red eyes, diarrhea, rash) to serious (kidney, liver, meningitis) and even fatal (when seeking care and treatment are delayed).

Congo: Yellow Fever

A total of 7 probable cases of yellow fever including 5 confirmed have been reported from the Republic of Congo. The most recent case was reported from Talangai district, Brazzaville, confirmed through plaque reduction neutralization test at Institut Pasteur in Dakar. There were 2 cases reported from Pointe Noire.

The context is concerning, as preventive mass vaccination campaigns are not yet completed outside of Pointe Noire; they have been delayed for a year.

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms of yellow fever (fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches) develop 3-6 days after infection. About 15% of people infected with yellow fever virus will develop severe illness that can lead to liver disease, bleeding, shock, organ failure, yellowing skin (jaundice), and sometimes death.

There are no medications to treat or cure yellow fever.

India: Hepatitis A

At least 35 people have been taken ill after a drinking water supply pipeline got contaminated by sewage in 2 localities in Punjab. The director of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, in a letter to the local government asked for the pipeline supply to be suspended and for alternative arrangements for potable water to be made.

As per the letter to the civic body, a hepatitis A outbreak had been detected in the localities due to the mixing of sewage and drinking water.

Harjit Singh, XEN, Water Supply and Sanitation Department, said the problem was noticed the week before and a probe found a water pipeline passing through an open sewer, leading to water contamination. "By the time the problem was noticed, it was fixed. But people had consumed the dirty water."

Kazakhstan: Anthrax

A 26 year old resident of the Turkestan region, who developed symptoms of anthrax, was taken off the train to Kokshetau. The man and his wife were placed in the center of infectious diseases, Kazinform correspondent reports. According to the chief state health doctor of the city of Kokshetau, the man had a fever on the train when he and his wife went on vacation to a sanatorium in the Burabay district.

"As it turned out, earlier he and his friend bought meat from a relative -- horse meat. First, a friend fell ill, then this man was identified by contact. Since the infectious disease department is located in Kokshetau, he was immediately hospitalized yesterday to the infectious disease department, in a state of moderate severity. The diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax was confirmed. He was the only one with symptoms. But his wife is also in the hospital, although her test is negative.

As the interlocutor added, anthrax is transmitted only from an animal to a person when eating meat or when cutting carcasses. It is almost impossible to get infected from a sick person; this requires contact with the patient's blood. Meanwhile, the chief state health doctor of the Akmola region, Ainagul Musina, added that the last case of anthrax among Aqmola residents was registered in 2019.

Kenya: Lumpy Skin Disease

The Murang'a County government has embarked on massive vaccination of cows following an outbreak of lumpy skin disease [LSD]. 3 cows succumbed to the disease in Kiria in Mugoiri location, prompting authorities to order farmers in the upper region of the county to present their animals for vaccination. Teams have vaccinated animals in Kiharu and Gatanga to check against the possible spread of the disease.

Kiharu veterinary officer Mr. George Wamenjo said the disease was first reported in Kiria village, Mugoiri location, Kahuro sub-County, where 15 cows contracted the disease. He said 1,000 livestock have been vaccinated, with farmers paying 87 cents per animal.

In Gatanga sub-county, departmental head Moses Karanja said they were vaccinating 80 cows per day. Dr. Karanja said no deaths have been reported in Gatanga sub-county.

 

March 18, 2022

United States: Avian Influenza

A highly pathogenic strain of avian flu has been confirmed in New Hampshire. Fish and Game Department officials said 20 wild mallards have tested positive in Rockingham County.

State veterinarian Steve Crawford said the avian flu has not been detected in any domestic birds, but he said farms and bird owners should take steps to protect their flocks. "This kills a lot of domestic birds when it infects them," Crawford said. "Our recommendation to domestic bird owners are to keep your birds away, fully separated from wild waterfowl, from their feces, from their dander."

The state Department of Agriculture said it is ramping up testing. Officials said the strain of avian flu is unlikely to affect humans.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Wildlife Services and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in a wild goose near Holmes Lake in Lincoln. This is the state's 1st confirmed case of HPAI since 2015.

Palestinian Authority: Foot and Mouth Disease

The Palestinian Minister of Agriculture, Riyad Al-Atari, announced the closure of livestock markets in the West Bank for a period of one month due to the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

Al-Atari told reporters in Ramallah that the disease has spread widely, and it is a cross-border disease, noting that the measure is preventive, as the focus is on monitoring the movement of animals.

Al-Atari added that his ministry had provided 400,000 vaccine doses in February, as about 70% of sheep and goats and 95% of cows were vaccinated, pointing out that the ministry continues to vaccinate despite the shortage of vaccines globally.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture recommended the necessity of stopping livestock markets to prevent mixing of animals and transmission of infection, stressing that matters are under control, as there is a crisis management team in order to mitigate losses.

Al-Atari explained that the disease is not transmitted to humans and there is no danger in eating infected sheep products, and it is expected that its spread will decrease after taking various measures to limit its transmission.

China: Avian Influenza

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is closely monitoring 2 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the Mainland, and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

The 1st case involves a 12-year-old female living in Liuzhou in Guangxi who had visited a live poultry market before onset. She developed symptoms on Nov. 17 and was admitted for treatment . She passed away Dec. 4.

The 2nd case involves a 79-year-old man living in Liuzhou in Guangxi who had visited a live poultry market before onset. He developed symptoms on Nov. 18 and died Dec. 3..

Since 2014, 73 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities. "All novel influenza A infections, including H5N6, are notifiable infectious diseases in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CHP said.

Travelers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.

United States:  Legionellosis

Nearly 2 dozen cases of Legionnaires' disease identified in California going back almost 6 months, prompted Riverside County health officials to advise anyone feeling symptoms to seek medical attention.

"This is a continuing investigation," county Department of Public Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung said. "The department recommends that individuals who live in the identified areas who become ill with pneumonia-like, respiratory symptoms, such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headache, visit their healthcare provider."

According to the department, 20 cases of Legionnaires' disease have been confirmed since last fall, resulting in 2 deaths connected to the illness, though one of those fatalities involved a visitor to the county. Officials said the infected patients were residents of Palm Desert, Palm Springs and neighboring communities. None of the parties were identified. The California Department of Public Health is collaborating with the county in seeking to identify potential sources.

Prior to the recent instances, there were no diagnosed cases of Legionnaires' disease within the county over the last few years, according to the Department of Public Health website. The Legionella bacterium is commonly spread through aerosolized water droplets or mists, including via showers, hot tubs and air-conditioning units. It's not known to be transmitted person to person.

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

New South Wales Health is urging the community to stay vigilant and take precautions against mosquito bites after a 5th NSW resident was confirmed to have Japanese encephalitis (JE).

The confirmed case is a man in his 60s from Goulburn. He was treated in hospital before being discharged and is continuing to recover in a rehabilitation facility.

This is the 1st confirmed case from the Goulburn area. Urgent investigations into the location of his exposure are underway.

Several more people in NSW are currently undergoing further testing for JE and more cases are expected to be confirmed over the coming days and weeks.

Locally acquired cases of JE have never previously been identified in NSW in animals or humans. Since late February, the JE virus has been confirmed in samples from pig farms in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

The JE virus is spread by mosquitoes and can infect animals and humans. The virus cannot be transmitted between humans, and it cannot be caught by eating pork or other pig products.

France: Avian Influenza

France reported March 11 that a total of 662 clusters of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been detected between November 2021 and February 2022, and almost 4.18 million birds have been culled, including 3.44 million birds in southwest France.

The outbreak included 611 clusters in poultry farms, 36 in wildlife and 15 clusters in barnyards, the French Agriculture Ministry said.

The clusters of HPAI have stabilized in southwest France, which is the main poultry production region, but have increased in the northwest of the country, said the ministry, adding that new measures of protection are conducted to decelerate the spread of the virus.

France saw an outbreak between autumn 2020 to spring 2021, during which 492 clusters were detected in poultry farms. The government ordered the cull of some 3.5 million birds, mostly ducks, in its southwest region.

Bolivia: Leishmaniasis

On March 10, representatives of the Ministry of Health, Departmental Health Service (Sedes), Regional Government, and Municipal Government of Villa Montes [Tarija department] met to coordinate work actions and control the disease.

The head of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Departmental Health Service (Sedes), Marcelo Magne, confirmed the presence of visceral leishmaniasis, being the 1st case that occurs in the department of Tarija. He reported that the patient is a child.

The head of the Health Unit of the Regional Government of Villa Montes, Agustín Quispe, reported that, in the face of this outbreak of the disease, the corresponding steps were taken before the Ministry of Health to establish the procedure to be followed.

"We have defined the competencies of each entity because this disease is new in the region. For example, in Villa Montes, we have had cutaneous leishmaniasis, but it is the 1st occurrence of visceral leishmaniasis and consequently, not even the Ministry of Health had contemplated the treatment, and the care flowchart," he pointed out.

Kenya: Yellow Fever

Suspected yellow fever (YF) cases have been reported from 8 villages within 3 sub-counties in Kenya since Jan. 12. Consequently, health authorities in Kenya declared an outbreak of YF in Isiolo County, central Kenya, which is around 168 mi north of the capital city of Nairobi.

As of March 10, there are a total of 15 suspect YF cases (including 4 deaths) reported. In Isiolo County, 3 sub-counties -- Chari (33%), Cherab (46%), and Garba Tulla (20%) -- have been affected.

The majority of the presumptive YF cases are from Merti village (40%) in Cherab sub-county, followed by Biliqo Marara village (13%), Chari sub-county, and Grafarsa village (13%) in Garba Tulla sub-county. The symptoms described are fever, jaundice, and muscle and joint pain.

Of the 15 cases, 13 (87%) are males and 2 (13%) females. The age range reported is between 11 and 65 years, with the most-affected age group being between 21-30 years (35%). There is no information on the vaccination status of the reported cases; however, both the origin and the surrounding counties have no history of vaccination campaign or routine immunization.

The 6 samples that have been collected from Isiolo County are with a representative distribution of all areas reporting suspected YF cases for confirmation. Of these, 2 samples tested positive by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) at the national laboratory (Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)). In addition, 3 samples were presumptive YF IgM positive by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CDC MAC- ELISA), and another 5 samples were equivocal. Further information is pending regarding the differential diagnosis tests performed. On 8 Mar 2022, the samples were shipped to the YF regional reference laboratory - Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for confirmatory testing.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

On March 5 California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officials updated their statistics for equine herpesvirus (EHV).

Orange County has experienced 3 premises with EHV, the 3rd of which shows no epidemiological link to the previous 2.

At Orange County premises No. 1, only 1 horse was confirmed with EHM and 18 with fever only.

Orange County premises No. 2 had 2 horses confirmed with equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM, the neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1). There are 6 horses confirmed with fever or mild signs only.

In Los Angeles County, 1 horse was confirmed with EHM.

In San Mateo County, 2 more horses displaying fever only were confirmed with EHV-1 and are isolated at the index premises, an event venue in Riverside County. As of March 5, 3 horses in San Mateo County were confirmed with EHM, and 30 with fever only (EHV-1).

In Riverside County, where the outbreak began at an event in late January, 3 more horses at the index premises, but not in the index quarantine barn, were confirmed positive for EHV-1 after displaying fever without neurologic signs. As of March 5, 3 horses had been confirmed with EHM and 30 with EHV-1.

March 10, 2022

Colombia: Leishmaniasis

An agricultural engineer from Colombia had cutaneous leishmaniasis, the most common form of a vector-borne disease which manifests as skin sores that grow and change appearance over time. Although not fatal, these lesions can become infected and painful, and leave disfiguring scars.

The man’s diagnosis was traced back to a trip he made to Colombia's Magdalena Medio region, one of many remote, tropical locations where the sandflies that transmit the disease are present.

These types of rural locations are the backdrop to Diseased Landscapes, a project spearheaded by British and Colombian researchers exploring the impact of leishmaniasis on workers who pick coca -- the raw ingredient used to make cocaine. The research is focused near the Colombian-Venezuela border, one of the prime coca-growing areas of Colombia.

Compared to other forms of informal employment, coca picking provides reliable income, paying approximately $21 per day. Not only is it attractive to people in this part of Colombia, where more than 56 per cent of the population's income is below the region's poverty line, but it's why low-income Venezuelan migrants come to areas like Catatumbo, says Alejandro Cañizares, a research assistant for the Diseased Landscapes team.

Pakistan: Lumpy Skin Disease

A cattle disease, affecting mainly cows, caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), has been reported recently in the press, electronic and social media. The disease has been reported in farms at Sanghar, Jamshoro, Thatta, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Khairpur and Karachi, according to a communique. There are reports of loss of weight and milk production in animals due to the disease.

The origin of the disease is Africa, from where it has spread to middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe. Within the region, in recent years there were reports of outbreaks of this disease in Iran, India and some other regional countries.

This is a new animal disease in Pakistan, and there is no treatment, medicine or vaccine available for it so far. It is transmitted by insects feeding on blood such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, nodules on the skin and can lead to death, though mortality rate has been found less than 5%.

The Sindh government and fisheries department have advised the owners of cattle to separate their sick animals from healthy ones, keep sheds clean, prevent animals from mosquitoes and biting insects, use mosquito nets, frequently spray farms, animals and premises with anti-insect sprays. In case of disease, report to local authorities and livestock department.

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

There are 3 Victorians in hospital suffering from Japanese encephalitis after the virus was found in animals in the state's north.

Victorian health officials issued a warning about the disease on Feb. 27, after evidence was found in pigs in Echuca, near the New South Wales border.

Since then, 4 Victorians have contracted the virus, believed to be the 1st cases reported in Australia's south. All 4 were admitted to hospital and one has since been discharged.

Japanese encephalitis virus spreads through mosquito bites and people in regional areas who are in contact with pigs may be at particular risk.

The disease is not transmitted from person to person and cannot be caught by eating pork or pig products.

Australia's health department confirmed the disease had been found in one piggery in Victoria's north, 6 piggeries in NSW and one in Queensland.

Nigeria: Monkeypox

Nigerian health officials reported 4 confirmed monkeypox cases through Feb. 28. The cases were reported from FCT, Imo, Adamawa and Lagos states.

No deaths were reported.

Since September 2017, Nigeria has continued to report sporadic cases of monkeypox.

A total of 8 deaths have been recorded in 6 states.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox occurs throughout Central and West Africa, often near tropical rain forests.

People become infected with the monkeypox virus through contact with the bodily fluids of infected animals or humans (alive or dead), including respiratory droplets, or through contact with materials contaminated with the virus.

Indonesia: Lumpy Skin Disease

Lumpy skin disease was detected in cattle in Rengat, Indragiri Hulu, Riau on Feb. 7. A total of 31 outbreaks have been reported.

Affected population: Riau province has 12 districts. The 1st case was reported in Indragiri Hulu District. Up to March 2, 174 cases have been reported in 31 villages in 5 districts.

Kenya: Yellow Fever

Kenya has reported an outbreak of yellow fever, a deadly disease spread by mosquitoes. The Ministry of Health says 3 patients have already died from the disease in Isiolo County.

Acting Director-General for Health Patrick Amoth said in total, 15 people are suspected to have the disease, but only 3 cases have been confirmed. The confirmed cases are in Merti and Garbatulla sub-counties of Isiolo.

"The 1st case was detected on Jan. 12. To date, 15 patients presenting with fever, jaundice, muscle pain and joint pain have been line-listed, the youngest being 11 years and the oldest being 65 years," Amoth said in a letter to health CECs across the country. The majority of the sick are young male adults.

March 3, 2022

United States: Avian Influenza

Avian flu has been found in a Delaware poultry farm that was experiencing increased bird deaths. The state announced that the Euroasian H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) had been found in 8 wild ducks, a hawk, and a Canada goose.

India: Guillen-Barre Syndrone

The rare Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is keeping district health officials on their toes in Anand district too. Another 3 cases of GBS have been reported from Nishraya village of Anand's Borsad taluka. Earlier, this week, more than a dozen cases of the rare syndrome were reported from the Panchmahal district. "All the 3 patients are from Nishraya village but not from the same locality or pocket," said Anand's chief district health officer Dr. Mahendra Chhari.

United States: Shigellosis

Public and Environmental Health officials in Humboldt County, California, are working to contain local cases of the gastrointestinal illness shigellosis after 3 lab-confirmed cases and 2 more suspected cases infected Eureka residents during the past month. The cases span multiple households, infecting school-age children and adults, including a person experiencing homelessness. Officials believe the bacteria may have been spread through one or more Eureka laundromats after an infected person washed contaminated clothing at the facility.

Australia: Japanese Encephalitis

NSW Health is alerting the community to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Japanese encephalitis virus has been detected in samples from commercial pig farms at 5 locations in southern and western NSW, indicating the virus is likely circulating in the mosquito population. Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito borne disease that may affect animals, including pigs, and humans. The virus is spread by mosquito bites.

Togo: Lassa Fever

One person has died of Lassa fever in the northern part of Togo, according to an announcement made by the Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Access to Care. "A case of Lassa virus disease was confirmed on Feb. 26. This is a 35-year-old woman, residing in the Oti-Sud district, who died of complications from the disease", underlines the press release signed Moustafa Mijiyawa, Minister in charge of Health.

Iraq: Leishmaniasis

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or black fever is regarded as one of the health problems in Iraq because of the limited control facilities, especially in marshland regions. The present study was carried out during the period from September 2019 to July 2020 in southern provinces of Iraq which aimed to evaluate the role of environment effects that increase the incidence of visceral leishmaniasis.

Netherlands: Avian Influenza

Around 47,000 chickens on a farm in the eastern Dutch city of Wageningen will be culled after the detection of highly infectious bird flu, the government said. There was a similar report from the north of the country, leading authorities to order the culling of 37,000 chickens.

United States: Avian Influenza

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Knox County, Maine. Samples from the flock were tested at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.

Canada: Bluetongue

Hot weather and drought conditions in interior British Columbia have created ideal temperatures for the transmission of the bluetongue virus. Bluetongue is usually fatal in bighorn sheep and can also affect other ruminants (large, hoofed mammals) says Dr. Caelet Thacker, BC's provincial wildlife veterinarian.

China: African Swine Fever

The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced that samples taken from 3 wild pig carcasses under the surveillance program for African swine fever (ASF) have tested positive for the ASF virus. As there were a number of wild pig deaths found in Stanley recently, samples were collected by the AFCD from 3 wild pig carcasses found in the above-mentioned area for testing. The results were positive for the ASF virus. The AFCD will continue to monitor wild pig deaths and maintain surveillance in the wild pig population.

United Kingdom: Avian Influenza

Authorities have recorded a spate of new outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu [HPAI]. HPAI of the H5N1 subtype was confirmed in commercial poultry at a farm near Redgrave, Suffolk, on March 1; in birds at a premises near Elmswell, Suffolk, on Feb. 26; and at a site near Ledbury, Herefordshire, Feb. 25.

Namibia: Typhoid Fever

Namibia has confirmed cases of typhoid fever in the capital district, Minister of Health and Social Services Kalumbi Shangula said March 2. "Following the report of the first case in January, 9 contacts, including 3 close contacts, were traced and tested for typhoid fever. Among the 3 close contacts, 2 tested positive," the minister told a press briefing. "Cases of typhoid fever have been reported previously in Namibia, especially in Kavango East and Kavango West regions due to the use of river water," Shangula said. "Windhoek district in Khomas recorded only one case of typhoid fever in the past 5 years."

 

February 24, 2022

Argentina: Leptospirosis

The CAF (Family Action Center) of Las Flores is on alert for cases of leptospirosis.

The communication from the UPCN (Union for Civil Servants/Public Workers in Argentina) detailed that for a long time "the complaint has been before the Secretariat for the Rights of Children, Adolescents and Family, documenting the existence of rat excrement in rooms occupied by minors, the commissary and other resources." "Unfortunately, the lack of response and inaction caused 3 colleagues to contract leptospirosis, one of whom was a replacement staff," UPCN said.

Likewise, UPCN announced that it had contacted the authorities of the Provincial Directorate of Zoonoses. They reported that the institution quickly determined what precautions were necessary in the facilities and advised staff accordingly. However, they added that, "As of today, only one day of work has been done to cover the holes made by the rodents."

UNO Santa Fe [a newspaper] consulted with CAF workers about how this situation came about. One said the space was filled with rats. They entered through construction in the building that was left unfinished almost 3 years ago. "There were holes, which they are just starting to cover now because of all this," that source said. The rats occupied the commissary space, the dining room, the workshop area and even the management offices. The rodents ate the bags of food that are usually distributed to the CAF from the larger organization and were intended for 30 families in the neighborhood.

Bolivia: Hantavirus

In the Caranavi locality in the La Paz department, physicians at the Caranavi Hospital stated that a 13-year-old girl was infected by a hantavirus.

The pathogen is transmitted by rodents, the health professional indicated.

The child is hospitalized.

Denmark: Avian Influenza

The Statens Serum Institut reports bird flu has been detected in a Danish harbor seal. The seal was found dead on a beach on Southwest Funen in September 2021 and examined at the Center for Diagnostics at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as part of the disease monitoring of fallen game.

The seal was emaciated with pronounced skin changes on large parts of the body of uncertain significance and cause. Influenza virus was detected in the lung, but otherwise no other disease-causing organisms could be detected that could explain why the seal was dead.

The Center for Diagnostics at DTU has stated that they examined 29 harbor seals and 15 gray seals in 2021, of which only this one was positive for influenza virus.

Upon further investigation at the Danish Veterinary Consortium, the virus turned out to be highly pathogenic avian influenza [HPAI] virus of the subtype H5N8.

The detected virus is closely related to the viruses that have been the cause of bird flu outbreaks in wild birds and domestic poultry since the autumn of 2020, both here and in the rest of Europe.

Canada: Avian Influenza

Another case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), subtype H5N1, was confirmed at a mixed farm in western Nova Scotia, which includes poultry and products for local sale.

According to a press release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the case was confirmed on Feb. 9]. The size of the flock was not disclosed, nor were the species involved.

This latest case follows confirmed detections of the same strain of HPAI in Newfoundland and Labrador and more recently in wild birds, a backyard flock, and a commercial turkey farm in Nova Scotia, where 11,800 turkeys were affected.

To control any potential spread of the disease, the CFIA has imposed movement restrictions and is recommending enhanced biosecurity for other farms within the area.

At this time, some countries have applied temporary import restrictions with variable implications on products and regions in Canada, primarily limited to the export of some poultry products from Nova Scotia.

United Kingdom: Lassa Fever

On Feb. 9, WHO was notified by the United Kingdom health authorities of 2 laboratory-confirmed cases and one probable case of Lassa fever. As of Feb. 18, 3 cases have been confirmed and one death has been reported. These are the 1st reported Lassa fever cases in the United Kingdom since 2009, and represents the 2nd known case of secondary transmission of Lassa fever in Europe.

The 1st case travelled to Mali in late 2021, where Lassa fever is endemic. After returning to the United Kingdom, the individual developed symptoms of fever, fatigue, and loose stool, and was subsequently hospitalized. The 1st case has now recovered. The 2nd and 3rd cases were family members of the 1st case and did not travel to Mali. Both were admitted to the hospital, and the 3rd case has died.

On Feb. 8, samples from both the 1st and 2nd cases were laboratory-confirmed positive for Lassa virus by PCR. The 3rd case was initially provided care as a probable case of Lassa fever, and the diagnosis was confirmed.

Incident responses have been activated by health authorities in the United Kingdom to coordinate the clinical and public health management of these cases.

People with exposure to the cases were identified through robust contact-tracing activities. Low- and high-risk contacts are being followed up for 21 days after their last exposure. Post-exposure prophylaxis has been offered to high-risk contacts with the most significant exposures. Systems are in place to assess and manage any contacts who may develop symptoms during the follow-up period.

Australia: Anthrax

Agriculture Victoria veterinarians and animal health staff are responding to the detection of anthrax in a small number of sheep on a property near Swan Hill. Anthrax has been identified as the likely cause of death in 5 sheep to date on the property, which has been quarantined.

Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Graeme Cooke said thanks to the farmer's early reporting, the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood of the detection impacting more livestock had been put in place, and at-risk livestock were being vaccinated.

"Anthrax is caused by a naturally occurring bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, that is known to be present for long periods in the soil in parts of northern and North-West Victoria," he said. "It is not unusual for incidents of anthrax to be detected in cattle and sheep in the region during the warmer months when it is drier and cattle and sheep forage deeper into the soil when grazing. Quarantine controls that were put in place will not affect the movement of any local people or vehicles."

Anthrax is not a concern for the general public because anthrax does not spread rapidly and is not very contagious. There is little general public-health risk associated with anthrax. Any risk is confined to people who handle dead livestock such as farmers, veterinarians, and knackery workers. There is no impact on local produce or food safety.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

On Jan  28, an equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy [EHM] (EHV-1) outbreak caused a 300-horse barn to be quarantined in San Mateo County, California. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is actively monitoring the situation as it evolves.

On Feb. 16, one additional horse on the property, a 19-year-old draft cross gelding, was confirmed to have EHV-1. He has been isolated. To date, 2 EHM cases and 17 EHV-1 febrile-only cases have been confirmed. The quarantine will be released when all positive EHV horses have had 2 negative tests 7 days apart.

On Feb. 16, the EHV-1 index case in Alameda County was released from quarantine at her home farm in Sonoma County, California, after testing negative for the disease. The 8-year-old thoroughbred mare had a confirmed EHV-1 diagnosis but had been removed from the racetrack where she was stabled in Alameda County and shipped to her home barn in Sonoma County after she began to show signs of illness. 14 other horses from the mare's training barn and 13 from an adjacent barn were isolated and quarantined, but no others were diagnosed with the disease.

One additional case of EHV-1 was found in Alameda County in an adult warm-blood gelding. The horse was afebrile but was displaying neurologic signs. He was quarantined along with 21 other equids on the property. There is no known epidemiological link between this EHM case and others in the state as no horses have moved on or off the property in the last 14 days.

 

February 17, 2022

Indonesia: Anthrax

As many as 12 residents of Gunungkidul Regency, Yogyakarta Special Region, have been confirmed to have contracted anthrax. This confirmation was obtained after the Gunungkidul Health Office examined a sample of 26 residents at the Bogor Veterinary Research Center (BBLivet). Residents whose samples were sent had blisters on their skin, similar to symptoms of anthrax.

"(12 are positive), the others are negative," said Dewi Irawaty, head of the Gunungkidul Health Service, when contacted on Feb. 9. Residents who tested positive for anthrax live in Kapanewon Gedangsari [Gedangsari district] and Kapanewon Ponjong. The Gunungkidul Health Office is said to be still monitoring the location of the emergence of anthrax cases. "Surveillance is still being carried out," said Dewi.

Dewi said anthrax is a zoonotic disease, which is only transmitted from animals to humans, not between humans. However, she said the basis for preventing anthrax depends on the behavior of residents, who have to be selective in choosing fresh meat and make sure it is from healthy animals.

Meanwhile, for the handling of livestock, the Gunungkidul Livestock and Animal Health Service has made a series of efforts to minimize the spread. Head of the Animal Health Division at the Gunungkidul Livestock and Animal Health Service (DPKH), Retno Widyastuti, suggested that livestock such as cattle and goats that were dead should be buried immediately. He explained that the highest risk of anthrax transmission occurred when the cattle were sick and then slaughtered.

Cameroon: Cholera

Cameroonian health authorities say at least 1,300 cholera cases have been detected, with nearly 3 dozen people dying as a result of the outbreak within the past 2 weeks. Cameroon's Public Health Ministry says water shortages and poor hygiene have spread the bacterial disease throughout half the country. Cameroon says the lives of thousands of its citizens are at risk. Manaouda Malachie, the state minister of public health, said 5 of the country's 10 regions have been affected by an ongoing cholera outbreak.

The statement says Bakassi, a southwestern peninsula near the Nigerian border, Cameroon's commercial hub and coastal city Douala, and Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, are the worst hit by the outbreak. Other locations affected are Buea, Tiko and Mutengene, southwestern commercial towns, as well as Maroua and Garoua on the northern border with Nigeria.

Kelvin Fosong, a community health worker, said he was sent from Buea to Mutengene this week to help civilians affected by the outbreak. "Since the outbreak, we have engaged ourselves into community sensitization, most especially in the quarters where deaths were reported. We have been there visiting homes, disinfecting toilets, public taps and water points. We teach them (civilians) how to take care of their environment with the help of some doctors (health workers)," Fosong said, speaking from Mutengene.

Cameroon's public health minister said 32 of the 1,300 people affected by the outbreak have died within 2 weeks, and added that the figures may be higher. The government reports that about 70% of the country's 26 million people visit African traditional healers and go to hospitals only when their health conditions get worse. The government says it is difficult to gather statistics from African traditional healers in the country's towns and villages.

England: Lassa Fever

A person in Bedfordshire has become the first in England to die after catching Lassa fever, the UK Health Security Agency [UKHSA] announced Feb. 11. The individual was the third member of a family who recently returned from West Africa to become infected with the virus.

A total of 11 cases of the rodent-borne disease have ever been detected in the UK. The 3 infections identified in the east of England in the past 3 days are the first spotted since 2009.

The disease, which has been classed as having "pandemic potential", is thought to cause no symptoms in 80% of patients and kill just 1% of those it infects. The UKHSA is conducting a "robust contact tracing exercise" to reach everyone who had close contact with those infected. But it said the risk to the general public "remains very low".

Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria -- which is currently suffering an outbreak of the virus -- and several other countries on the west coast of Africa, including Liberia and Guinea. People usually become infected after exposure to food or household items that are contaminated with urine or feces of infected rats. But the virus, which can make trigger seizures and bleeding from the eyes, as well as make women bleed from their vagina, can also be transmitted via bodily fluids.

Argentina: Q Fever

An outbreak was investigated by Argentina health officials in the Department of Diamante, Entre Rios province, where workers of a meatpacking plant demonstrated symptoms of headache, myalgia, fever and cough.

Q fever, caused by Coxiella burnetii bacteria, was reported in 11 people; 10 required hospitalization. The predominant symptoms were headache (64%), myalgia (64%), fever (55%) and cough (37%). Four (36%) were diagnosed with pneumonia. All improved after receiving antibiotic treatment with different therapeutic schemes: ampicillin, ampicillin/sulbactam and doxycycline.

Direct contact with animal tissues and fluids could have been the cause, poor use of personal protection equipment and insufficient ventilation of some sectors of work, and conditions of moisture and potential areas where fluids could collect. Environmental and building adaptations were carried out..

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Q fever is a disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii which is found worldwide. The bacteria naturally infect some animals, such as goats, sheep and cattle. C. burnetii bacteria are found in birth products (that is, placenta, amniotic fluid), urine, feces, and milk of infected animals. People can get infected by breathing in dust that has been contaminated by infected animal feces, urine, milk, and birth products. Some people never get sick; however, those who do usually develop flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain.

United States: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) want to make Tennesseans aware of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2). In late January, RHDV2 was detected in 2 domestic rabbits in East Tennessee.

RHDV2 has not been found in Tennessee's wild rabbit populations, but the virus is of major concern, as it is highly contagious and lethal to wild and domestic rabbits. In Tennessee, eastern cottontails, Appalachian cottontails, and swamp rabbits are susceptible to RHDV2. Currently, RHDV2 only infects rabbit species and has not been documented to affect humans or any other animal species.

The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with infected rabbits or carcasses, meat or their fur, feces, body fluids, contaminated bedding materials, or other materials having been contaminated. People can inadvertently spread the virus into new areas by moving infected live rabbits, carcasses or parts from infected animals, as well as on clothing and shoes. The virus can persist in the environment for an extended time, which makes it difficult to control the disease once it affects wild rabbit populations.

Uganda: Anthrax

Madi Okollo District authorities are investigating a suspected outbreak of anthrax disease. This follows the death of 3 animals from a kraal in Payonga village, Panduku parish in Pawor Sub County. Walter Avaga, the assistant veterinary health officer in charge of Lower Madi County, says that the animals died suddenly after presenting with swollen abdomen. According to Avaga, the 2 most important measures to control this potential outbreak is for farmers to vaccinate their animals and the safe disposal of carcasses of the dead animals.

The Madi Okollo District veterinary officer Dr. Charles Onzima appeals for calm, saying they have picked samples and submitted them to the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and are waiting for the results. However, Robert Onenarach, the LCIII [Local Council III, a type of local administration in Uganda] chairperson, has blamed the persisting cases of the disease on the negligence of some residents who continue to defy instructions to bury carcasses of animals suspected to have died of the disease.

Anthrax is one of the endemic animal diseases in the West Nile region, something largely blamed on the porous borders, the wildlife reserves at the Nile belt, and the animals that were brought by the refugee community that was never examined. Most anthrax infections occur among animals, with occasional spread to humans. Human infections often result from handling and consuming the meat of infected livestock.

Jordan: Foot and Mouth Disease

Cattle breeders in the Jordan Valley are facing a great challenge in the form of infection of their livestock with the foot and mouth [FMD] virus, which negatively affects their only source of livelihood. Cases of deaths and shortages in the production of milk and its by-products have resulted from the infection of their livestock, causing great losses.

One breeder indicated that FMD caused the deaths of at least 6 head of cattle with the rest of the herd being affected, despite the provision of vaccinations and the necessary treatments. She pointed out that losses are increasing with the deaths of several young calves during a short period, raising the level of seriousness of the situation and unexpected, huge losses.

She said that breeders depend on the livestock trade and the sale of milk, yogurt and cheese as their only source of livelihood, explaining that they buy medicines at their own expense. She revealed that some breeders sell their products of dairy and cheese to citizens and traders, under the pretext of reducing their losses, despite the danger of these products from infected livestock. She stressed the importance of securing the necessary vaccinations and treatments for livestock breeders to combat this disease.

United States: Strangles

An outbreak of strangles at a Tipton County, Tennessee boarding farm has led to 3 confirmed cases, 5 suspected cases and a total of 40 horses potentially exposed to the bacterial disease. The horses were diagnosed by a local veterinarian, according to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC), and the farm is under voluntary quarantine.

Strangles spreads rapidly, producing large outbreaks in herds not previously exposed or vaccinated.

Also called equine distemper, the infection known as strangles typically begins 10 to 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.

The disease's descriptive name comes from the "strangling" noise produced as severely affected horses struggle to draw breaths into their obstructed airways. Aside from observing the obvious physical signs in diagnosis, veterinarians can run cultures of the nasal drainage to see if it contains the streptococcal organism.

United States: Avian Influenza

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in various species of wild ducks in Delaware and New Hampshire, bringing the total number of states with positive HPAI cases in 2022 to 8.

There were 20 cases in New Hampshire and 3 in Delaware, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on 11 Feb 2022. That same day, 25 new cases were detected in North Carolina.

These detections follow earlier reports of confirmed HPAI cases in wild birds in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida, as well as a confirmed case in a flock of 29,000 commercial turkeys in Indiana.

All of the Delaware cases were found in Kent County and all of the New Hampshire cases were in Rockingham County. However, the cases in North Carolina were more widespread, with 16 in Pamlico County, 5 in Hyde County, and 4 in Bladen County.

In all cases, the virus found was of the H5 lineage, with APHIS more specifically describing them as H5N1 cases.

France: Avian Influenza

A wood pigeon was discovered dead in the town of Genêts on Feb. 7. After examinations, the Prefecture of Manche confirmed that the pigeon had died of avian influenza. This is the 2nd case in the same region within a week. The previous case involved a common shelduck found dead on the nearby beach of Saint-Jean-le Thomas.

Following the detection of avian influenza in these 2 wild birds, the temporary control zone in Manche has been extended, implying restrictive measures and strict health instructions.

In Normandy, this is the 5th case of avian influenza listed, after the 3 outbreaks identified in the communes in Seine-Maritime.

This 4th episode of avian influenza in France mainly affects the South West of the country, where many farms have been affected since the end of November 2021.

According to a census of the Ministry of Agriculture, France had, as of Feb. 1, 328 outbreaks in farms, including 218 in Landes, in the heart of the foie gras country, where mass slaughters were organized. Nearly 3 million poultry, including 1.9 million waterfowl, have been slaughtered to eradicate avian influenza since the 1st cases were detected.

Mauritania: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The Mauritanian Ministry of Health announced on Feb. 13 that it had recorded 2 cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

In a circular, the ministry calls for vigilance and the strengthening of measures throughout the country, warning against negligence in the face of contagious diseases.

The Ministry of Health has instructed regional health directors and chief medical officers inside the country to increase epidemiological monitoring measures in addition to taking other measures to prevent the infiltration of any cases of dangerous diseases.

Crimean-Congo fever is one of the most dangerous hemorrhagic fevers and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), this disease is transmitted to humans by ticks and by cattle, and from person to person through contact with blood.

According to the WHO, although it has appeared for a long time, there is no vaccine against this disease either for people or for animals. Its treatment is limited to dealing with the symptoms and permanent follow-up of the patient.

Spain: Malaria

The Andalusian Government is investigating a case of malaria in a woman who has developed the disease after giving birth last December at the Quirónsalud Campo de Gibraltar private hospital, in Algeciras (Cádiz), according to an El Pais report.

The woman had not traveled to any country where this disease is endemic. The main hypothesis put forward by the public health services is that the contagion has occurred in the health center for some reason. Instruments contaminated with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, explained health sources in the community.

A Quirónsalud spokesperson rejected this option and assured that the origin of the contagion is "a mosquito that must have bitten the woman inside or out of the hospital.”

The woman was admitted to the hospital at the end of December and suffered several complications during the delivery, although her condition improved and both she and the baby were released from the hospital.

Fiji: Leptospirosis

Around 11 people have died due to leptospirosis during the past one and half months in Fiji. Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong said on that most of the deaths were between 16 to 35 years of age, and the youngest one was 6 years old. He said a total of 74 cases were confirmed since January this year [2022], and more people were diagnosed clinically.

After the recent floods, more people were admitted to hospitals for leptospirosis in the Western Division, he said, adding that care delay was attributed significantly to these adverse outcomes. He advised that early treatment can decrease the severity and duration of the disease. Fong said the health ministry has deployed specialist outreach teams to the areas that are regarded as difficult to reach and are at high risk.

Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria that enter the body through skin or eyes, nose, or mouth, especially when the skin is broken. Drinking contaminated water may also cause infection.

Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to contaminated water such as floodwaters. In the Pacific island countries, the summer season raises people's risk of contracting leptospirosis due to higher rainfall and frequent flooding.

Syria: Lumpy Skin Disease

The directorate of agriculture in Sweida governorate started a free vaccination campaign against nodular dermatitis [lumpy skin disease] in cattle.

The head of the animal health department in the directorate, veterinarian Camille Morshed, said that the campaign, which will continue until the end of February, targets about 15,000 heads. The vaccines have been provided, free of charge, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, based on its importance in limiting the losses to the productivity and the economy of livestock caused by this disease.

Dr. Morshed pointed out that this campaign is in line with the continuation of work during the current period with 3 vaccination campaigns in sheep, against FMD [foot-and-mouth disease], enterotoxemia, and Pasteurella. She pointed out that the situation of livestock in the governorate is good with the absence of the spread of communicable and contagious diseases, but the breeders face the problem of lack and high prices of feed.

Over the past year, the directorate of agriculture in As-Suwayda conducted more than 677,000 free-of-charge preventive vaccinations for cows, sheep, and goats against communicable and contagious diseases.

Cambodia: Foot and Mouth Disease

Five districts in Svay Rieng province have detected animals suffering from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a member of the Picornaviridae family, which is highly contagious.

Department of Animal Health and Public Health director Nou Vornika said: "We have vaccines for about 25% of the 3 million cattle in the country for FMD."

"Now FMD is only detected in Svay Rieng province but I don't have the report with numbers yet," he said, adding that the affected districts are Svay Chrum, Romeas Hek, Romduol, Chantrea, and Kampong Ro.

Vornika said that FMD is one of the most contagious diseases and infects animals quickly. The disease is most common in wild and domestic animals such as pigs, cows, sheep, and goats.

He added that the symptoms cause the animal to have a fever of 40 to 41 deg Celsius [104-105.8 deg F], blisters on the mouth and tongue, and sores on the hooves which makes it difficult for animals to eat and walk.

Germany: Tick-borne Encephalitis

An unusually high tick activity has been observed in a popular inner-city park of Munich. The park was identified in 2021 as a tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) natural focus by detection of TBE virus in a number of ticks of the species Ixodes ricinus. At least one patient got infected and suffered from clinical overt TBE.

The 1st tick-sampling activity resulted in 36 I. ricinus ticks (15 nymphs, 10 females, 11 males). This is an unusually high number of different stages for this part of the year, as during the nights before, temperatures below 0 deg C [32 deg F] had been reported. In contrast, tick sampling on the same afternoon in a TBE natural focus outside of the city with usually comparable tick numbers during the year resulted in only 3 I. ricinus ticks (1 nymph, 2 females).

Tick activity in the inner city seemed to start very early this year compared to a very low activity in a TBE focus outside of the city. As ticks were collected from a known TBE focus, there is already now a relevant risk of infection by TBE virus. This early tick activity extends the transmission period of TBE virus for several weeks.

The early start of the tick activity might be due to the basically higher environmental temperatures inside the city compared to outside and due to this year's mild winter. Usually, the I. ricinus activity in Germany starts only mid- to end of March. 

Australia: Hendra Virus

A novel Hendra virus (HeV) variant has been identified and isolated. The variant was not detected by routine testing from a horse in Queensland, Australia, that died from acute illness with signs consistent with HeV infection.

Using whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, officials determined the variant had approximately 83% nt identity with prototypic HeV. In silico and in vitro comparisons of the receptor-binding protein with prototypic HeV support that the human monoclonal antibody m102.4 used for postexposure prophylaxis and current equine vaccine will be effective against this variant.

An updated quantitative PCR developed for routine surveillance resulted in subsequent case detection. Genetic sequence consistency with virus detected in grey-headed flying foxes suggest the variant circulates at least among this species. Studies are needed to determine infection kinetics, pathogenicity, reservoir-species associations, viral-host coevolution, and spillover dynamics for this virus. Surveillance and biosecurity practices should be updated to acknowledge HeV spillover risk across all regions frequented by flying foxes.

Kenya: Leishmaniasis

More than 60 people have died in the last 4 years due to the kala-azar disease [visceral leishmaniasis] in Ngomeni, Mwingi North sub-county, MCA [Member of County Assembly] Eliud Mutati has said. Mutati said the deadly disease is caused by the Leishmania parasites spread by sandfly bites and usually affects the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.

He said the sandflies are found in camel grazing areas and when the desert animals invade parts of Ngomeni that border the Tana River in search of pasture, the flies then bite the residents.

However, despite the area being so vulnerable to sandfly bites, the MCA said dispensaries are not equipped with the required medicine. Treatment in private facilities is very expensive and most residents cannot afford it, hence most of them end up dead. "We plead with the county government to equip our dispensaries and evict camels from our peoples' farms for peace to prevail," the MCA said.

 

February 10, 2022

Canada: Avian Influenza

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the death of a Canada goose as a result of avian influenza H5N1.

The CFIA is now advising poultry farmers to be vigilant and to apply biosecurity measures at all times.

Since the confirmation of the case, a hobby farm located in Porters Lake has lost nearly their entire flock -- 59 of 60 birds within the past week.

The virus can be transmitted between humans and animals, although that is rare.

Australia: West Nile Virus

A horse in the New South Wales Hunter region has died and more across the state have been infected with West Nile virus in numbers not seen since the outbreak of 2011.

Cases of the illness, including its Kunjin strain, have been diagnosed recently in northern and southern parts of NSW amid good breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

Scone vet Lucy Cudmore described the virus as "shocking" and said signs could vary, but it often presented in similar ways to the Hendra virus.

"It can be quite distressing to find your horse presenting with these neurological abnormalities," she said.

Congo: Trypanosomiasis

Out of the 26 provinces in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo], 22 are exposed to sleeping sickness [human African trypanosomiasis]. Hence the importance of intensifying awareness campaigns and mobilizing funding to improve access to screening and care tools for the most affected communities, say the health authorities.

These statistics were given on the occasion of the commemoration of the World Day for neglected tropical diseases, including human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. This commemoration also coincides with the anniversary of National Sleeping Sickness Day. This year], the focus is on raising awareness and access to care.

According to the WHO, 5.6 million people are at high risk of infection with this disease. And the DRC alone notifies nearly 85% of cases in Africa.

In 2021, the country recorded 387 cases. In view of these statistics, the elimination of sleeping sickness in the DRC remains a major challenge. But it is true that in recent years, progress has led to therapeutic advances, in particular, the administration since January 2020 of fexinidazole, a new effective oral treatment, acting at all stages of the disease.

Congo: Anthrax

The managing administrator of the Kalonge health zone in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) confirmed 9 people have contracted anthrax in the Kalonge group in Kalehe territory in South Kivu.

The infections are linked to the consumption of guinea pig, according to a 7SUR7 report. Among these 9 people affected, 2 died. The other 7 are receiving treatment in local medical facilities. Jules Bahati, health administrator for the Kalonge health zone, reassures that this disease is already under control and the health of these 7 other people is progressing well.

According to the non-governmental, non-profit organization, People in Need: "A popular approach to combating malnutrition is through guinea pig farming. These furry creatures offer a much-needed source of protein as well as micronutrients and can increase household food security more rapidly than conventional livestock such as pigs and chickens.

Indonesia: Anthrax

Indonesian authorities have declared 2 villages on Java island red zones and banned livestock movement from the area after the deaths of several farm animals from anthrax, an official said on Friday [4 Feb 2022]. Seven cattle and a goat have so far tested positive for anthrax among 15 farm animals that have died in recent days, said Kelik Yuniantoro of the agriculture office in the Gunung Kidul region of central Java.

Authorities were awaiting more test results, and there were 23 people with skin infections, likely from handling or consuming infected animals, Kelik said.

"Areas where the dead animals were from are now red zones. All livestock from those regions are not allowed to leave for now," Kelik told Reuters, adding authorities had disinfected farms and livestock were given antibiotics and vitamins. "Animal markets were also disinfected, and veterinary inspections are being tightened up," Kelik said, adding that authorities would monitor the community's health situation for 4 months.

Romania: Scrapie

Outbreaks of scrapie have been reported on 2 sheep farms. Authorities have also placed restrictions on farms in Bocsig commune, Arad County, which have a total of 750 sheep.

The disease was detected in several animals whose 1st tests were positive for scrapie. A 2nd set of samples is currently being processed, before a decision is made on the possible slaughter of the animals, according to aradon.ro.

The 1st animals had specific symptoms a few days ago, and the samples were sent to the Institute of Diagnosis and Animal Health (IDSA), Bucharest, as mentioned by the Director of the Veterinary and Food Safety Directorate of Arad, Marcel Roşu.

"The 1st test performed was positive, but in such cases a 2nd test is made, which is more sensitive, to confirm the disease. For the time being, the farms have been put under surveillance and restrictions, and if the final result confirms that the sheep have scrapie, IDSA will decide on the action plan to be implemented. It is possible to slaughter sheep even for consumption, but it can also be decided to kill and neutralize", said Marcel Roşu.

He explained that scrapie is a fatal degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system of sheep and goats.

Philippines: Cholera

Health officials in Caraga, Davao Orientale, in the Philippines have confirmed that the diarrhea outbreak experienced here early this week was caused by cholera, as the disease spread to 6 more villages. Three residents -- aged 11 months and 36 and 57 years old -- died of the disease that has affected a total of 461 people as of Feb. 4.

Dr. Chris Anthony Limen, the municipal health officer, said the laboratory test results from the rectal swabs taken on the patients and tests on the town's water sources were yet to be released. But he believed it was a cholera outbreak. "An ordinary diarrhea can fully be treated in 2-3 days. And it is not life-threatening. But cholera is an acute diarrhea that could be fatal and requires longer days of treatment. Bowel movement could not be stopped, and the stool is smelly," said Limen.

The outbreak, which was first detected in 9 subvillages of Barangay Santiago, had already spread to 6 other villages: Barangay San Jose, San Miguel, and Sobrecarey had 2 cases each; and Barangay Poblacion, Pichon, and Don Leon Balante had 1 each. The bulk of patients came from the village of Santiago, at 417. About 154 of the patients were aged below 16; 240 were from 16 to 59 years old; and 30 were 60 years and older, Limen said.

The diarrhea outbreak was blamed on Santiago's contaminated water source. In November, they were reportedly advised to constantly sanitize the facility after a diarrhea outbreak in the village a month earlier. Of the 80 cases last year, one turned out positive for cholera. Leaking pipes and a polluted reservoir have allegedly caused the contamination. Some $390,203 was allocated by the provincial government for the water system's rehabilitation, but work has yet to begin.

United States: Equine Herpesvirus

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM), the neurologic disease linked to equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), in a Lamb County Quarter Horse on Jan. 10. This is the 1st positive detection of EHM in Texas this year.

The horse was tested after showing neurologic signs consistent with EHM. The premises has been quarantined, and TAHC staff are working closely with the owner and local veterinarian to monitor the infected horse and enforce biosecurity measures on the premises.

"While the horse showed clinical signs, it was kept home until transferred to a local veterinary clinic for treatment," said Dr. Angela Lackie, assistant executive director of Animal Health Programs. "The horse traveled back home after clinical signs resolved."

EHM is a neurologic disease of horses linked to the equine herpesvirus. Neurological signs appear as a result of damage to blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord. Clinical signs of EHM in horses may include fever of 102 deg F or greater (fever most often comes before neurologic signs), nasal discharge, lack of coordination, hindquarter weakness, leaning or resting against a fence or wall to maintain balance, lethargy, urine dribbling, head tilt, diminished tail tone, and penile paralysis.

It is important to remember these signs are not specific to EHM, and diagnostic testing is required to confirm EHV-1 infection.

Iraq: Anthrax

The spread of anthrax in Dohuk province in the Kurdistan region has resulted in the death of dozens of cattle, according to a Rudaw report. The sudden spread of the disease has put fear in the heart of local farmers and authorities, as they are worried that the disease may spread to other parts of the region.

Anthrax is a bacterial pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Ruminants such as bison, cattle, sheep and goats are highly susceptible, and horses can also be infected. Anthrax is a very serious disease of livestock because it can potentially cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a very short time. Affected animals are often found dead with no illness detected.

When conditions become favorable, the spores germinate into colonies of bacteria. An example would be a grazing cow that ingests spores that in the cow, germinate, grow spread, and eventually kill the animal. Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. This spore-forming bacteria can survive in the environment for decades because of its ability to resist heat, cold, drying, etc. This is usually the infectious stage of anthrax.

South Africa: Foot and Mouth Disease

Farmers in the Mtubatuba district of KwaZulu-Natal are "hoping and praying" that the foot and mouth disease (FMD) case detected at a dip tank in the previously reduced disease management area (DMA) does not mean the disease has spread further.

This was according to PJ Hassard, president of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union, responding to a recent report by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (agriculture department), which indicated that while 2 locations affected by the original outbreak in May 2021 were recently removed from the list of those affected, a new location had been added.

Serological and clinical surveillance of animals had been ongoing since last year, and observations at the 2 previously infected feedlots indicated that there had been no active disease-spread among animals for a period of more than 6 months. The quarantine restrictions had also been lifted on feedlots, and slaughterings for the local market in the DMA were continuing.

The new positive location reported earlier this month fell within the reduced DMA. Clinical inspection and sample collection were being intensified in the newly identified infected area to determine the true extent of the disease, the agriculture department said in a statement. "We are eagerly awaiting the results of the tests that were done at the affected dip tank.

This is a stressful time, and our sincere hope is that the disease [has] not spread from the reduced DMA to the surrounding surveillance area. The FMD outbreak had a terribly negative impact, [both] financially and economically, on the entire agricultural value chain in the region," Hassard told Farmer's Weekly.

United States: Avian Influenza

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission [FWC], samples collected in January by USDA-Wildlife Services from a hunter-harvested blue-winged teal in Palm Beach County have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza [HPAI] strain: H5N1 2.3.4.4b Eurasian. This follows similar reports of the H5N1 Eurasian strain from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador) this past fall and winter (2021-2022).

This strain has been documented in Europe since early 2021. No known human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [APHIS] says these findings are not unexpected, as wild birds can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness. They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating. APHIS anticipates additional wild bird findings as robust wild bird sampling program continues into the spring.

India: Kyasanur Forest Disease

A case of Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD), also known as monkey fever, a viral disease transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys, has been reported from the Panavally area under the Appapara Family Health Centre (FHC) in Thirunelly grama panchayat in Wayanad district [Kerala state].

The patient, a 24 year old man engaged in collecting minor forest produces from the nearby forest, is undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital, Mananthavady, and his condition is reported to be stable. He was hospitalized on 29 Jan 2022 after he was referred from the FHC. The samples from the patient were sent to the Public Health Laboratory at Sulthan Bathery, and it had been confirmed as a case of KFD, district medical officer K Sakeena said.

Surveillance has been stepped up in the hotspots identified by the health department on the forest fringes in the district, Dr Sakeena said. Frontline forest staff and the high-risk population on the forest fringes have been advised to use personal protection measures, including gloves and gumboots, and repellent lotions before entering forests, she said. Forest personnel have been asked to collect details of unnatural deaths of monkeys in areas where the disease had been reported.

United States: Bovine Tuberculosis

Michigan state veterinarian Nora Wineland released the following statement due to the discovery of a bovine tuberculosis positive herd in Oscoda County. "Bovine TB was recently confirmed in an Oscoda County dairy herd, located in Michigan's Modified Accredited Zone. On Jan. 25 the National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the presence of the disease in one of the animals from this herd.

"As with all findings of bovine TB in a cattle herd, additional testing will be done to ensure the remaining animals are healthy; and if any other infected animals are present, they will be removed.

"An epidemiologic investigation is being conducted to help determine the source of infection and rule out the possibility of additional cases stemming from the affected herd."

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease which can affect all mammals, including humans. It is known to be present in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population of the MAZ [modified accredited zone], a 4-county area (Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda) in north eastern lower Michigan, and the disease can be transmitted between deer and cattle. While state and federal agencies are taking significant steps to manage the disease, the continued hunting of deer in this area is an important tool in maintaining a healthy deer population.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, at least 2,800 deer must be submitted for testing in the 4 core counties, with lower quotas set for the counties listed below, including a 10-mile circle in Emmet County.

United States: Equine Infectious Anemia

Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials confirmed equine infectious anemia [EIA] in a quarter horse on a Kaufman County premises on Jan. 20. 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 premise has been quarantined and will not be released until the TAHC's requirements are met. TAHC staff are working closely with the owner and local veterinarian to monitor potentially exposed horses and implement biosecurity measures.

United States: Strangles

An attending veterinarian at a private facility in Dearborn County, Indiana, reported a horse confirmed positive for Streptococcus equi ssp. Equi, the bacterial cause of strangles in horses, S. equi ssp. Zooepidemicus, which can cause several diseases in horses, including upper respiratory tract infections, and equine herpesvirus type 4, EHV-4, which can cause upper respiratory tract infections. Two other horses are suspected to have strangles.

The attending veterinarian reported another horse on the property had returned from a training barn 3 weeks prior to the occurrence of the strangles cases.

England: Lassa Fever

In England, 2 people have been diagnosed with Lassa fever, and a 3rd "probable" case is under investigation, the UK Health Security Agency [UKHSA] has said. It is the first time cases of the potentially deadly infectious disease, caused by the Lassa virus, have been identified in the UK for more than a decade.

One of the 2 confirmed cases has recovered, and the 2nd is receiving specialist care at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The "probable" case is being treated at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS foundation trust, UKHSA said. The cases are understood to be within the same family in the east of England and are linked to recent travel to West Africa. Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness. People usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or feces of infected rats. The virus can also be spread through bodily fluids.

People living in areas of West Africa with high populations of rodents where the disease is endemic are most at risk of Lassa fever. Imported cases rarely occur elsewhere in the world. Such cases are almost exclusively in people who work in endemic areas in high-risk occupations such as medicine, or other aid workers.

 

February 3, 2022

United States: West Nile Virus

The Mississippi State Department of Health [MSDH] confirmed its 1st human case of West Nile virus in the state this year [2022]. The case is in a person in Hinds County. The virus is mosquito-borne and causes flu-like symptoms in humans. Occasionally the illness can be severe and lead to meningitis or encephalitis. MSDH says West Nile virus peaks from July to October, but mosquitoes can carry the virus all year. The department has some tips to avoid becoming infected:

Bolivia: Leishmaniasis

A team of professionals from the National Institute of Health Laboratories (Inlasa) and the National Center for Tropical Diseases (Cenetrop) arrived in the city of Villa Montes to assess the possible outbreak of leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

The person in charge of the Health Unit of the Regional Government of Villa Montes, Agustín Quispe, explained that the arrival of these professionals is due to the fact that apparently 2 cases have been registered in this municipality. He stressed that they would be present doing fieldwork and socialization until Jan. 28.

Quispe stated that together with a health brigade they will be touring the area where these cases have been detected. He added that this fieldwork will be done in the surroundings and inside the house where the suspected cases live.

"The objective of these tasks is to confirm or rule out cases of leishmaniasis, in order to subsequently take the measures and recommendations made by Inlasa and Cenetrop professionals," he said.

India: Anthrax

The Department of Agriculture and Food Security of Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta Special Region, confirmed that 10 residents of Hargomulyo Village, Gedangsari District, were suspected of being exposed to anthrax after consuming dead and slaughtered beef. The Head of the Animal Health Division of the Gunung Kidul Agriculture and Food Security Service, Retno Widyastuti in Gunung Kidul, confirmed  the suspicion of anthrax in Gedangsari District. "After we received the report, we immediately took samples to be tested in the laboratory. The results of the sample testing have not yet been released," said Retno.

The Secretary of the Gunung Kidul Health Service, Abdul Azis, said that his party had received a report regarding the alleged spread of anthrax in Gedangsari District. The Health Office together with the Department of Agriculture and Food Security have followed up on this report and joint efforts have been made to tackle it in accordance with their duties. "To confirm the case, samples have been taken from residents' blood, soil to samples of the remaining meat," he said.

Azis said the Health Office had given medicines to symptomatic residents. In addition, case tracking has also been carried out to reduce the risk of wider spread. "Certainty is still waiting for the results of laboratory tests. However, countermeasures have also been carried out," he said.

United States: Avian Influenza

At least 2 wild birds in Virginia have been recently confirmed to have avian influenza, a virus that is very contagious among birds. This comes after the virus was detected in North Carolina and South Carolina. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources said, "These detections were not unexpected."

According to the CDC, the virus can make the birds sick or result in death, but most birds infected do not end up getting sick. The risk to the public is low, and people should be mindful that they properly prepare and handle meat and eggs.

Avian influenza can negatively impact poultry, which can harm backyard farmers and commercial productions. The department of wildlife said people who are farming poultry should review their biosecurity efforts to keep their birds separate from possibly infected wild birds.

Ivory Coast: Avian Influenza

Animal health officials in Ivory Coast reported highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in poultry, according to the latest notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Ivory Coast reported 2 separate events, both linked to the introduction of new poultry into flocks. One of the outbreaks began on 10 Nov 2021 at a layer farm in Grand-Bassam [Comoé district], about 25 miles east of Abidjan. The virus killed 174 of 11,000 susceptible birds.

The other event started at a poultry breeding farm in Abidjan, killing 5,000 of 32,000 susceptible birds.

Canada: Avian Influenza

The Department of Natural Resources and Renewables is notifying the public that avian influenza has been detected in Nova Scotia.

On Jan. 28, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed a Canada goose in the Grand Desert area of Halifax Regional Municipality tested positive.

Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread easily and quickly among birds. There are at least 15 types of avian influenza. Some wild bird species, such as ducks, can carry the virus and infect other birds without getting sick themselves. Other bird species are more likely to become severely ill and die when infected with some types of avian influenza.

As a general guideline, the public should not handle live, sick, or dead wild birds.

January 27, 2022

United States: Avian Influenza

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported 2 more cases of highly pathogenic avian flu in wild birds on Jan. 18, raising risks for potential infections in poultry.

The USDA on Jan. 14 reported the nation's first case of a Eurasian H5 type of the virus since 2016 and later said that all 3 cases are the H5N1 strain. That strain has caused a wave of outbreaks of bird flu in poultry across Europe and Asia. H5N1 is one of the few bird flu strains that has passed to humans, though US officials said there was a low risk to people from the case confirmed on Friday.

The infections are disappointing because it is rare for a Eurasian strain to make its way to North America, said Carol Cardona, a professor of avian health at the University of Minnesota. "Avian influenza viruses tend to stay in their hemisphere," she said. The latest US cases were in Colleton County in South Carolina, where Friday's infection was found in a wild duck, and in Hyde County in North Carolina, the USDA said.

Wild birds can transmit avian flu to each other or to poultry through direct contact and through their feathers or feces. "These findings are not unexpected, as wild birds can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness," the USDA said. "They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating." The USDA advised poultry producers to review safety measures to assure the health of their flocks and said people should wear gloves when dealing with wild birds.

Thailand: African Swine Fever

The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) announced on Jan. 11 the confirmation of ASF in Thailand. In Bangkok, 3 pet pigs kept by one owner developed clinical signs and died; a carcass tested positive for ASF virus.

On Jan. 8, DLD held a press conference regarding suspected ASF in the country and soaring pork price, and announced that a task force was formed to carry out investigation and intensive disease control measures. A 24-hour hotline was made available to report sick pigs. DLD asked people to purchase animals from reputable sources and keep an eye on their health, to apply frequent disinfection, self-quarantine of new animals. It was ensured that DLD is monitoring pigs, pork products, pig feed, and movement of pigs and that compensation will be paid if pigs were to be destroyed for ASF.

The Ministry of Commerce suspended pork exports for about 3 months in order to cope with high pork prices in the domestic market.

The confirmation of ASF virus and allocation of $17.3 million were announced at a press conference by the government spokesperson and DLD director general. Following a nationwide emergency meeting with relevant departments, all provinces and districts have established war-rooms to coordinate and report daily, register pig farmers and number of pigs, perform a risk assessment, share accurate information, guide farmers on improvement of biosafety, and promote good farming management.

United Kingdom: Meningitis

Meningitis B cases among students in England are rising sharply and are exceeding pre-pandemic levels according to the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The NHS [National Health Service] states meningitis as being an inflammation of the lining around your brain and spinal cord. It is potentially fatal if not treated quickly. Meningococcal group B bacteria are cause of life-threatening infections including meningitis and sepsis that can cause brain damage, epilepsy, hearing loss, the loss of limbs, and death. This is despite most of the population being vaccinated against it as children.

Linda Glennie from the Meningitis Research Foundation said: "The data published by UKHSA have highlighted that students, particularly those living on campuses, have a higher risk of meningococcal disease than their peers. Meningitis progresses rapidly, so it's critical to alert someone if ill, and to seek urgent medical advice."

The data also highlight teenagers and young adults as at particular risk. From September to November 2021, 41.5% of meningitis cases occurred in those aged 15-19 years, compared with 11.8% and 14.3% during the same period in 2018 and 2019.

Congo: Monkeypox

Health authorities reported an additional 189 total monkeypox cases, including 2 deaths in the past 2 weeks, bringing the country total for 2021 to 3,087 cases with 83 deaths (case fatality rate [CFR] 2.7%).

This is less than half as many cases as were reported in 2020, when a total of 6,257 suspected cases including 229 deaths (CFR 3.7%) were reported in 133 health zones from 17 of 26 provinces in the country.

Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is endemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and human cases occur there annually. As mentioned in previous reports, it is not clear how many of the reported cases above are laboratory confirmed.

Iran: Leishmaniasis

On Jan. 17, an official in the Iranian Ministry of Health announced the spread of leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease transmitted to humans through sandfly bites, in 18 out of 31 Iranian provinces, with more than 10,000 people infected with this disease.

The head of the Human and Animal Infectious Diseases Management Group at the Iranian Ministry of Health, Behzad Amiri, said in press statements that, "since the beginning of the Iranian year on 21 Mar 2021, and until the end of last December, 10,508 new patients were identified with the disease leishmaniasis in the country."

"The provinces of Isfahan, Fars, Khuzestan, Semnan, Khorasan Razavi and Golestan recorded the highest rate of infection with this disease," Amiri added, noting that "Iran is facing a significant increase in the number of infections with this disease." In a related context, Mohammad Mahdi Joya, head of the Center for Infectious Diseases Management at the Iranian Ministry of Health, said that the accumulation of garbage and animal excrement in villages is a factor in the outbreak.

Mahdi Joya said: "If anyone is infected, and the infection lasts more than 10 days and does not heal, they must go to the health centers," adding, "If we move quickly, we can hope to control the disease quickly." "We are facing a disease that is much easier to control than it was in the past," the Iranian official explained.

Palestinian Authority: Foot and Mouth Disease

The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture [MOA] issued a press statement Jan. 21 regarding the recent spread of foot and mouth disease [FMD] in some neighboring countries of Palestine, and its transmission through cross-border wild animals. The ministry confirmed that a number of cases of FMD have been recorded among the sheep population in some Palestinian governorates.

In its statement, the ministry indicated that its Palestinian veterinary services intensified their efforts to control and contain infection hotspots and prevent the spread of the disease, by vaccinating more than 200,000 sheep and cows, using the strategic stock of FMD vaccine available in the ministry's warehouses. It also intensified monitoring and investigation procedures for the disease.

The ministry's statement indicated that it has expended extensive efforts with regional and international bodies to provide additional quantities of the FMD vaccine. These efforts were successful, the ministry announcing at the same time that it was able to purchase additional quantities of the vaccine through Palestinian companies, despite the vaccine scarcity in the global market and the imposition of strict restrictions on the import of veterinary vaccines. The ministry said: "This quantity of the purchased vaccine is sufficient to implement all the field activities carried out by the veterinary services in the Ministry of Agriculture that are necessary to combat the disease, contain it, and prevent its spread.

China: Avian Influenza

Between Jan. 7-13, 4 new cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) were reported from China to WHO in the Western Pacific Region.

The 1st case is a 7 year old schoolgirl from Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province who became ill in November. The other three cases were children who became ill in December.

All of the 4 cases were mild and had already recovered from the disease at the time of reporting to WHO. Before illness onset, the cases had been exposed to poultry. No family members have developed symptoms at the time of reporting. Following investigations, no epidemiological links have been determined among the 4 cases.

To date, 24 cases of avian influenza A(H9N2) have been reported to WHO from China in 2021, and a total of 65 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) including 2 deaths (both with underlying conditions) have been reported to WHO in the Western Pacific Region since December 2015.

India: Kyasanur Forest Disease

Amid mounting fears over the havoc the 3rd wave of COVID-19 may have caused across the state, an old problem has reared its head again in Shivamogga. A 57 year old woman in Kudige village of Thirthahalli has been admitted to the taluk hospital with Kyasanur Forest disease [KFD], the 1st case since 2019.

The patient had been suffering from fever for a few days, following which her blood sample was collected and tested for KFD. The health department decided to have her samples tested for KFD since Kudige, nestled amid dense forests, is situated in the zone where the disease has been rampant.

The woman was initially admitted to Thirthahalli taluk hospital, before she was shifted to Manipal in the evening on Jan. 21. Shivamogga district health officer Dr Rajesh Suragihalli told TOI, "The woman's symptoms are mild. There is no cause for worry. Of the 50 samples tested for KFD, one has been confirmed. The woman in question had taken a vaccine against the disease."

In December 2019, Aralagodu in Sagar taluk was affected by KFD, which claimed 22 lives. In all, 26 people succumbed in 2 years in Shivamogga. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the KFD graph tapered to zero. Meanwhile, a team from National Institute of Virology (NIV) visited Aralagodu village to collect ticks, the insects that spread KFD. Officials said a report is yet to be submitted to the government.

United States: Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in deer in 4 more Arkansas counties, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Deer harvested in Randolph, Crawford, Franklin, and Van Buren counties have been confirmed with the disease, the commission said.

The fatal disease affects deer, elk, caribou, and moose and has been found in at least 27 states nationwide.

The case in Randolph County in northeastern Arkansas is about 25 mi from the nearest confirmed case, in southern Missouri, but no confirmed cases have been reported in adjoining Arkansas counties.

"We held public meetings along the Missouri border this summer," AG&FC Director Austin Booth said. "We'll make sure we hold public meetings about our findings at the conclusion of deer season."

Crawford, Franklin, and Van Buren counties in western Arkansas all are adjacent to counties where the disease has previously been found and are within the state's chronic wasting management zone.

There are no reported cases of the disease in humans, but it is recommended that meat from infected animals not be eaten.

Jordan: Foot and Mouth Disease

Informative news content indicating the death of sheep and cows in some Jordanian cities, including Sahab, Mafraq, and others, and the possibility of the emergence of foot-and-mouth disease [FMD], also circulating in neighboring countries such as Palestine, have recently spread.

The published news articles included inconsistent or inaccurate information. Questions from the general public and farmers about the very presence of the disease in local livestock, its spreading rate, the location of disease foci, and control measures undertaken remained unanswered.

The Jordanian Media Credibility Monitor (Akeed) tracked a number of news articles related to the FMD issue. It was found that the media published denials by official authorities of the existence of FMD, as well as -- in other reports -- official confirmations thereof. There were conflicting reports on the number of dead animals, mostly underestimating them, and on the results of their postmortem examinations. The Russian decision to stop importing livestock from Jordan due to the presence of FMD came as a surprise, while this decision corresponds to a local denial of importing livestock from Russia.

United States: Leptospirosis

New York City is investigating a possible deadly dog disease, leptospirosis, linked to rats which could be spreading in Brooklyn.

New York City Department of Health is investigating multiple dog deaths possibly linked to a rat-transmitted illness, and a popular Brooklyn park has been closed as officials investigate.

At least 4 pets have experienced signs close to leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread through urine, especially from rodents and farm animals.

Leptospirosis can be a life-threatening disease in canines. For humans, it is mostly similar to a case of the flu. Transmission from dog to human is considered rare.

January 21, 2022

Argentina: Anthrax

SENASA was alerted to new cases of anthrax in the rural area of Santa Rosa, so the Provincial Board of Zoonosis reiterated the preventive measures. The cases are in addition to those previously presented in the towns of Bernasconi and Guatraché.

Anthrax is an acute disease that preferentially affects ruminants, being infectious to other animals, including humans, which is why it is considered a serious zoonosis. Its suspicion in both human and animal cases is mandatory notification. The responsible agent is the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which, when it comes into contact with oxygen, forms a spore that is resistant to severe climatic conditions and that allows it to survive in the environment.

These spores can remain viable in nature for long periods of time in dry food, animal by-products such as wool and hides, contaminated objects, and soil. When ingested by a susceptible animal, such as cattle and other herbivores, this spore goes back to the vegetative form, beginning to generate the toxins that are responsible for the death of the animals.

Russia: Foot and Mouth Disease

From the reserve fund of the government of the Saratov region, 10 million rubles [$134,000] will be allocated for emergency vaccination of farm animals in connection with the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] in the Orenburg region and Kazakhstan. The corresponding order was given by the governor of the Saratov Region, Valery Radaev.

According to the deputy chairman of the regional government Roman Kovalsky, an outbreak of FMD was detected in the Orenburg region, where the disease, presumably, came from neighboring Kazakhstan. In this regard, the import of livestock products from the Orenburg region was banned in the Saratov region. Veterinary posts have been set up on the border roads.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the region was instructed to work with the federal center on further purchases of the vaccine.

"The Saratov region is a border area; we constantly face risks of [livestock] diseases. We need to more actively work with the population. Residents of border areas should be aware of the threat of the spread of FMD, about how dangerous this disease is. We will find funds as soon as possible to start vaccination of animals as soon as possible," said Valery Radaev.

Syria: Leishmaniasis

Northeastern Syria, which is controlled by the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF), is witnessing a sharp rise in the number of leishmaniasis cases, and the infections were concentrated in the eastern countryside of Deir Ez-Zor and the countryside of Hasaka near the Khabur river.

According to the official responsible for treating leishmaniasis sufferers in the "Kurdish Red Crescent" [NGO] medical point, Hinoud Ibrahim, the number of recorded cases of the disease in the Khabur area has reached more than 16,500 since August.

She added, "Lakerin Hospital" receives daily about 100 patients with leishmaniasis, which are minute parasites that are transmitted to the body usually through the bite of an infected female sandfly, according to the "Al-Araby Al-Jadeed" website.

She pointed out that the currently available treatment for leishmaniasis patients is an injection of glucantime, after conducting a clinical or laboratory examination, to determine the type of injection that the patient will take, either intramuscularly or under the skin.

Canada: Avian Influenza

A deadly strain of avian influenza has spread to a second location in Newfoundland. Federal officials confirmed Jan. 9 H5N1 bird flu killed chickens in a small backyard flock.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency [CFIA] says avian flu has killed chickens at a small, backyard farm on the Avalon Peninsula. "This backyard flock owner had just a few chickens and ducks," Dr. Mary-Jane Ireland, the agency's chief veterinary officer, told CBC News.

Last week, CBC News reported Lester's Farm Chalet in St. John's is the first operation that lost hundreds of birds to avian flu before Christmas. More than 350 birds died there and another 60 birds, including geese, peacocks and an emu, were euthanized in an effort to contain the virus.

The CFIA says 17 birds died at the second location. Three were hens that were killed by the virus and the rest were ducks which were euthanized.

Ireland said both locations had ponds where farm birds could mingle with wild birds, and both owners had chickens dying suddenly.

Libya: Leishmaniasis

The Health Care Office in Bani Walid municipality has confirmed that the number of cases of leishmaniasis in the city has increased to 675. The office confirmed that the city's health services administration is working with its full efforts to combat the disease and give the necessary treatment, despite the poor treatment and control supplies. It also called on the Government of National Unity, the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Diseases Control to the speedy provision of treatment and health care for the cases.

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is caused by the protozoan Leishmania parasite, which is transmitted by sandflies. Zoonotic CL is endemic in Libya, with sporadic outbreaks. In 2006, more than 7,000 cases were recorded in 8 districts, with an outbreak of 3,961 cases in Misratah, and the disease spread to non-endemic areas.

Iran: Leishmaniasis

The health deputy of Iran's Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences has said Varamin, on the southern edge of the capital Tehran, is a cutaneous leishmaniasis endemic region in the country. Sohrabi said 48 patients have so far been identified and treated. He added that all healthcare centers are ready to give services to people suffering from cutaneous leishmaniasis.

According to Sohrabi, the healthcare centers are eliminating contaminated rodents and dogs to bring the disease under control. While noting that Varamin is an endemic region of cutaneous leishmaniasis, Sohrabi said each year a number of cases are reported in the area.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of leishmaniasis affecting humans. It is a skin infection caused by a single-celled parasite that is transmitted by the bite of a phlebotomine sand fly.

Italy: African Swine Fever

According to the Councilor for Agriculture of the Piedmont Region, Marco Protopapa, there is an increase in cases of African swine fever [ASF] in Liguria, particularly in the area around the A7 motorway, so checks will be concentrated in the areas close to this artery. He also mentioned 2 other cases discovered in the Ligurian territory for which the results of the analysis are awaited.

These days the commissioner is participating in numerous technical discussions on the disease which so far, in Piedmont alone, has killed 7 wild boars. The region, together with the prefecture, is organizing a monitoring service in the municipalities around the A7 to identify any other wild boar carcasses and submit them for analysis. The checks, which will not be the only ones in the area, will be carried out by the hunters at the head of the teams indicated by the ATC [Territorial Management Area] together with the provincial hunting guards and the forest police.

The introduction of ASF to Northern Italy presents a long leap of the ASF genotype 2 virus from affected countries.

Brazil: Leprosy

The State of Mato Grosso occupies first place in Brazil in cases of leprosy. In an alert of a serious public health problem, state deputy Dr. Eugênio de Paiva (PSB) indicated to Governor Mauro Mendes and to the Secretary of State for Health (SES), Gilberto Figueiredo, the urgent need to implement effective public policies, in partnership with municipalities, to reverse this situation.

"We are in the 'Purple January' (national campaign to combat, prevent and fight leprosy) and Mato Grosso carries the title of national leprosy champion. A state so rich in statistics that are so disastrous but they can be remedied with effective public policies to combat the disease. Leprosy is curable and the Unified Health System (SUS) covers the entire cost of treatment. Therefore, there is no reason for us to be record holders of sick people in the State of Mato Grosso", fired Dr. Eugênio, from the rostrum of the Legislative Assembly of Mato Grosso.

Dr. Eugênio warns that leprosy, when left untreated or treated late, causes disabilities/deformities. "Hands can be injured; eyes may not close; eyelashes may fall out; the nose can visually change; may have accentuated wrinkles; the ears may be modified; eyebrows may partially disappear; the foot may become paralyzed and have recurrent ulcer-like lesions (sores). These are consequences that can be responsible for the exclusion of many workers from the market and social life", explained the parliamentarian.

Israel: Avian Influenza

The Ministry of Agriculture announced Jan. 14 that control has been gained over the outbreak of the bird flu that has hit hard the crane population in the Agamon Hahula area and led to the culling of poultry in farms of northern Israel. This week professionals are expected to concentrate their efforts on cleaning, disinfecting and monitoring the flu.

Most of the crane carcasses have already been disposed of. In the coming weeks, monitoring operations will be conducted at the site to make sure there are none left. If conditions allow, the site will be reopened to visitors within a few weeks.

The 1st case of the disease in the current outbreak was discovered in a pelican in the north of the country that was apparently infected from contact with migratory birds. The disease then spread to cranes and from there to chicken coops in other areas. About one million chickens had to be killed.

During an online meeting of experts held this week at the initiative of the Steinhardt Museum of Nature at Tel Aviv University, the director of the Veterinary Services, Dr. Tamir Goshen, indicated that there is a problem with the biosafety level of layer coops in Israel and that they are far from meeting the requirements accepted in developed countries.

Uganda: Rift Valley Fever

The Ministry of Health has confirmed the outbreak of Rift Valley fever in Kagadi district.

The case was confirmed following the death of a herdsman and a resident of Kihuura LCI in Mabaale sub-county, Kagadi district.

The man died at St Ambrose Charity Health Center IV in Kagadi town, where he had been admitted after he developed severe fever, muscle pain, and headache.

Paul Bahizi, the Kagadi District Assistant Health officer says that health officials in the district became suspicious after the death of the deceased. He says that they were compelled to collect samples from him and sent them to Uganda Virus Research Institute Entebbe for analysis which tested positive for Rift Valley fever.

Dr. Fred Ssewankambo, a representative from World Health Organization (WHO) has asked the district authority to swiftly launch sensitization campaigns, especially in Mabaale before the disease spreads.

Lillian Ruteraho, the Kagadi Resident District Commissioner says they have dispatched a team of health experts to trace the victim's contacts so that samples are taken from them for analysis.

United States: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

More detections of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in a wild rabbit have been confirmed by the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, one in a black-tailed jackrabbit recovered from Powell Butte in Crook County. Winter is the most popular time of the year to hunt rabbits and hunters are asked to keep an eye out for the disease and take steps to avoid spreading it. Owners of domestic rabbits should also take precautions.

RHDV2 is a virus that causes sudden death in rabbits. The virus only infects rabbits and poses no human health risk. But it poses a high risk for domestic, feral, and wild rabbits.

Oregon Department of Agriculture [ODA] and ODFW [Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife] are working together to monitor the disease and to try and limit its spread since it was first detected in Oregon in feral domestic rabbits near Portland in mid-March 2021.

China: Avian Influenza

China has reported 2 avian influenza deaths among 5 new confirmed cases of H5N6. The World Health Organization has called for "urgent" action. A rise in the number of people infected with avian influenza in China last year has raised concern among experts, who have warned that the strain could be more infectious to humans. Two people in China have now died of bird flu; the other 3 remain in hospital.

Hong Kong's health department said 5 people in Sichuan province, Zhejiang province and Guangxi autonomous region were infected with the bird flu strain in December last year.

One of the two who died was a 75 year old man from Luzhou in Sichuan Province. He fell ill after being exposed to live domestic poultry. He was rushed to hospital 4 days later and died. The other was a 54 year old man from Leshan in the same province. He became ill and died 3 weeks later. He too was reportedly exposed to live domestic fowl.

A 51 year old woman from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province fell ill after being exposed to live domestic poultry. She was taken to hospital and authorities said she was in a critical condition. The other 2 cases were recorded in Liuzhou, a city in Guangxi Autonomous Region, the Hong Kong health department said. A 53 year old man with a history of exposure to dead poultry fell ill and remains hospitalized in a serious condition. A 28 year old man from the same city became ill and is believed to be in a critical condition. It was not immediately clear how he had become infected. Since 2014, 65 people have been infected with the H5N6 bird flu - over half of them in the past 6 months.

United States: Avian Influenza                                                                               

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported 2 more cases of highly pathogenic avian flu in wild birds Jan. 18, raising risks for potential infections in poultry

The USDA reported the nation's first case of a Eurasian H5 type of the virus since 2016 and said that all 3 cases are the H5N1 strain. That strain has caused a wave of outbreaks of bird flu in poultry across Europe and Asia. H5N1 is one of the few bird flu strains that has passed to humans, though US officials said there was a low risk to people from the case confirmed on Jan. 14

The infections are disappointing because it is rare for a Eurasian strain to make its way to North America, said Carol Cardona, a professor of avian health at the University of Minnesota. "Avian influenza viruses tend to stay in their hemisphere," she said. The latest US cases were in Colleton County in South Carolina, where Friday's infection was found in a wild duck, and in Hyde County in North Carolina, the USDA said.

Wild birds can transmit avian flu to each other or to poultry through direct contact and through their feathers or feces. "These findings are not unexpected, as wild birds can be infected with HPAI and show no signs of illness," the USDA said. "They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating." The USDA advised poultry producers to review safety measures to assure the health of their flocks and said people should wear gloves when dealing with wild birds.

January 14, 2022

Scotland: Avian Influenza

A devastating outbreak of avian influenza around the Solway Firth has killed thousands of wildfowl in recent weeks, with barnacle goose particularly affected.

It is estimated that 4,000 or more barnacle geese have already died from the virus, which equates to around 10% of the entire Svalbard population of the species.

The scale of the event has been described as 'unprecedented' by the RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds] and outbreaks are being reported widely across the UK, although the Solway has been especially badly affected.

The RSPB said in a statement that "geese have been observed falling from the sky in distress, and lines of dead birds are washing up on the beach after they perish while roosting out on the mudflats," and warned that "the worst could still be to come." The RSPB's reserve at Mersehead has been badly affected, with 700 corpses already removed from the site and numbers still rising.

Ireland: Equine Influenza

On Dec. 30, Rainbow Equine Laboratory reported a case of EI [Equine Influenza] in an unvaccinated non-Thoroughbred gelding on a premises in North Yorkshire. The animal came from Ireland on Dec. 17, was noted unwell on arrival and developed clinical signs including pyrexia, cough and nasal discharge in the following few days.

There are 15 vaccinated in-contacts on the premises and they do not currently have any signs of disease. The case has been isolated and biosecurity measures are being implemented. The positive diagnosis was confirmed by PCR on pooled nasopharyngeal swabs.

Equine influenza is an acute respiratory infection of horses, donkeys, mules, and zebras caused by 2 distinct subtypes (H7N7, formerly equi-1, and H3N8, formerly equi-2) of influenza A virus within the genus Influenzavirus A of the family Orthomyxoviridae. Viruses of the H7N7 subtype have not been isolated since the late 1970s.

England: Avian Influenza

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said there had been a confirmed human case of avian flu in southwest England, adding that the person had been in close contact with infected birds and there was no evidence of onward transmission.

"The person acquired the infection from very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which they kept in and around their home over a prolonged period of time," the UKHSA said.

"All contacts of the individual, including those who visited the premises, have been traced and there is no evidence of onward spread of the infection to anyone else. The individual is currently well and self-isolating. The risk to the wider public from avian flu continues to be very low."

United States: Brucellosis

The Montana Department of Livestock announced on Jan. 5 an animal in a Madison County cattle herd, within Montana's brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area (DSA), has been confirmed positive for brucellosis.

The positive animal tested as a "suspect" on a whole herd test conducted in December 2021, the Department of Livestock said. Pathologists at the Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory collected tissues and forwarded the samples to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, where infection was subsequently confirmed.

The ranch has been placed under quarantine and an epidemiological investigation has begun. The positive animal tested negative during 2020, which allows the Department to reduce the scope of the disease investigation.

Voluntary whole herd testing is an effective method for DSA producers to protect their herd. Early detection of infections not only allows producers to detect the disease before it spreads within the herd but also minimizes the time required to clean up a herd, and thereby shortens the duration of quarantine, which allows herd owners to control when testing happens, often by pairing with other ranch management activities.

"A high rate of testing, much of it voluntary, is the primary reason we continue to find affected herds rapidly," said State Veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski. "A robust testing program minimizes the impact to the operation and protects our state and trading partners." Zaluski commended Montana producers within the DSA for their high rate of compliance with brucellosis testing regulations.

China: Avian Influenza

The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region were notified of an additional human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) from China.

The case is a 7-year-old male from Heyuan City, Guangdong Province with onset of illness on Nov. 28. The case was in a mild condition and was not hospitalized. Prior to onset of illness, the case had exposure to a live poultry market and no further cases were suspected among family members at the time of reporting.

To date, 19 cases of avian influenza A(H9N2) have been reported to WHO from China in 2021.

Philippines: Leptospirosis

The Department of Health (DoH) in Bicol is not only dealing with COVID-19 but also with bacteria and parasites that cause various diseases and infestations, specifically among farmers wading in farmlands here.

A 29-year-old father of 2 from Tula-Tula Granda, Ligao City died in December due to leptospirosis based on the medical certification issued by Dr. Tirzo de los Reyes, attending physician from Zone Medical and Intervention Hospital Inc. in Ligao City. The farmer was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure secondary to acute kidney injury and leptospirosis.

Noemi Bron, DoH Bicol Health and Promotion chief, said that in 2021 at least 13 Bicolanos died due to leptospirosis. As many Bicolanos wade in farms and flood water, the DoH urged the public to take extra precautions to prevent getting the deadly disease.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial, water-borne disease, is a disease of epidemic potential, especially after heavy rainfall or flooding.

Italy: African Swine Fever

A case of African swine fever has been detected in a wild boar in Italy, news agency ANSA said, raising fears of a blow to the country's meat industry.

Highly transmissible and fatal for pig populations, African swine fever (ASF) does not present a risk for human health, but risks serious repercussions for pork producers.

Italy, with about 8.9 million pigs, is the 7th biggest pork producer in the European Union, representing an 8 billion euro industry, according to the agricultural association Confagricoltura.

ANSA said the case of the viral disease was detected after tests on the carcass of a wild boar in Ovada in the northern Piedmont region.

African swine fever has existed in Africa for decades. In Italy, it has been endemic on the island of Sardinia since 1st appearing in 1978.

The disease spread to China -- the world's largest pork producer -- in 2018, causing millions of pigs to be slaughtered to prevent an epidemic.

Congo: Typhoid Fever

More than a quarter million typhoid fever cases were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since our last report in early November when 1,121,104 total typhoid cases were reported.

Typhoid fever, caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, is a life-threatening bacterial infection. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21 million people annually. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria.

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding the bacterium or if sewage contaminated with it gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Thailand: African Swine Fever

Thailand's livestock authorities have pledged to investigate the death of a pet pig after a laboratory test at a university revealed it had died of African swine fever [ASF], the 1st such report in the country.

Thailand has insisted for years that its swine herds were unaffected by ASF, which in recent years has swept across Europe and Asia and killed millions of pigs, especially in China, even as its Southeast Asian neighbors report outbreaks.

A miniature pet pig in Bangkok was found dead of the disease after being brought in by its owner for a laboratory test conducted in early December at Kasetsart University, said Nattavut Ratanavanichrojn, associate dean of the university's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Kasetsart Nakhon Pathom province, west of Bangkok.

Nigeria: Monkeypox

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 3 confirmed monkeypox cases in December in Cross River, Lagos, and Delta states, bringing the total confirmed cases for the year to 34.

No deaths were reported.

Since September 2017, when Nigeria saw a return of monkeypox, a total of 512 cases have been reported, including 8 deaths, from 32 states in the country.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox occurs throughout Central and West Africa, often near tropical rain forests.

People become infected with the monkeypox virus through contact with the bodily fluids of infected animals or humans (alive or dead), including respiratory droplets, or through contact with materials contaminated with the virus.

Russia: Foot and Mouth Disease

From the reserve fund of the government of the Saratov region, 10 million rubles will be allocated for emergency vaccination of farm animals in connection with the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] in the Orenburg region and Kazakhstan. The corresponding order was given on Jan. 12 by the governor of the Saratov Region, Valery Radaev.

According to the deputy chairman of the regional government Roman Kovalsky, an outbreak of FMD was detected in the Orenburg region, where the disease, presumably, came from neighboring Kazakhstan. In this regard, the import of livestock products from the Orenburg region was banned in the Saratov region. Veterinary posts have been set up on the border roads.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the region was instructed to work with the federal center on further purchases of the vaccine.

"The Saratov region is a border area; we constantly face risks of [livestock] diseases. We need to more actively work with the population. Residents of border areas should be aware of the threat of the spread of FMD, about how dangerous this disease is. We will find funds as soon as possible to start vaccination of animals as soon as possible," said Valery Radaev.

Syria: Leishmaniasis

Northeastern Syria, which is controlled by the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF), is witnessing a sharp rise in the number of leishmaniasis cases, and the infections were concentrated in the eastern countryside of Deir Ez-Zor and the countryside of Hasaka near the Khabur river.

According to the official responsible for treating leishmaniasis sufferers in the "Kurdish Red Crescent" [NGO] medical point, Hinoud Ibrahim, the number of recorded cases of the disease in the Khabur area has reached more than 16 500 cases since August.

Leishmaniasis is the penetration of single-celled parasites of the genus Leishmania into the skin, after being bitten or stung by a female sandfly, a very small insect whose size does not exceed 1/3 of the size of an ordinary mosquito.

Canada: Avian Influenza

A deadly strain of avian influenza has spread to a 2nd location in Newfoundland. Federal officials confirmed. H5N1 bird flu killed chickens in a small backyard flock.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency [CFIA] says avian flu has killed chickens at a small, backyard farm on the Avalon Peninsula. "This backyard flock owner had just a few chickens and ducks," Dr. Mary-Jane Ireland, the agency's chief veterinary officer, told CBC News.

Last week, CBC News reported Lester's Farm Chalet in St. John's is the first operation that lost hundreds of birds to avian flu before Christmas. More than 350 birds died there and another 60 birds, including geese, peacocks and an emu, were euthanized in an effort to contain the virus.

January 7, 2022

United States: Equine Infectious Anemia

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory recently confirmed to the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) that 4 horses on a Maricopa County premises had tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA). While the initial disease response has concluded, ADA continues to investigate affected horses' movements and monitor the situation.

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease attacking horses' immune systems. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids from an infected to an uninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies. It can also be transmitted through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.

Palestinian Authority: Foot and Mouth Disease

A second FMD outbreak in the village Al-Hadidiya, sub-district Tubas, district West Bank, affecting a mixed flock of 590 sheep and goats, from which 20 cases and 12 deaths occurred. No slaughter nor culling applied.

The first outbreak in the village had started on 12 Dec 2012, affecting a mixed herd of 172 sheep and goats, with 45 cases and 5 deaths.

The combined epidemiological statistics of both outbreaks in Hadidiya are: Susceptible (sheep & goats) – 762; Cases – 60; Deaths – 17.

Description of the affected population: A nomadic farm, 200 meters away from the first outbreak; this farm was vaccinated in response to the first outbreak but clinical signs started to appear on Dec. 20; there is common grazing activities in this area. All dead animals are newborns and young animals in the flock, the clinical picture is still developing.

India: Leishmaniasis

As the government focuses its attention on containing COVID-19, the death toll due to the neglected disease visceral leishmaniasis, commonly known as kala-azar, reached 33 in November 2021, the highest total in the past 7 years.

As per the data available from the website of the National Centre for Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) of the Union Health Ministry, Bihar tops the list with 24 mortalities followed by Jharkhand, which has reported 7 deaths. The fatalities are alarming as in 2020 neither state reported any deaths due to kala-azar. Only Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal had reported 3 cases each last year.

The deaths suggest that the infection is not being treated on time. Health experts say that if left untreated, visceral leishmaniasis, which is otherwise a curable disease, can be fatal in over 95% of cases. It is caused by the protozoan parasite of the genus Leishmania. Its clinical manifestations include irregular bouts of fever, weight loss and anemia.

France: Avian Influenza

France has culled 600,000 to 650,000 chickens, ducks and other poultry over the past month, officials said, in a race to contain an avian flu virus threatening to become the 4th major outbreak in the country since 2015. The Agriculture Ministry reported virus clusters at 26 factory farms, mainly in the southwest -- home to France's lucrative foie gras pate industry -- as well as 15 cases in wild fowl and 3 in backyards.

The government ordered farmers in November 2021 to keep poultry indoors in a bid to stop the spread of the virus by migratory birds, though the 1st case was detected later that month, at a site in the north. The 1st case to strike the south west, where most outbreaks are now located, came on 16 Dec 2021, the ministry said.

Last winter more than 500 farms experienced massive infections that resulted in the culling of some 3.5 million birds, mainly ducks, prompting the government to spend millions of euros in compensation. Poultry farmers had already been hit by massive bird flu outbreaks during the winters of 2015-16 and 2016-17.

South Korea: Avian Influenza

Another case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza [HPAI] virus has been confirmed in Buan, North Jeolla Province. The provincial government said on Dec. 28 that the latest case was confirmed at a farm raising about 10,000 ducks. This is the 18th confirmed case involving poultry farms this winter and the first in the province.

The local government launched a preventive cull and ordered a movement ban on 15 poultry farms within a radius of 10 kilometers (about 6 miles) from the duck farm to prevent the spread of the virus.

Canada: Avian Influenza

Environment Canada says a highly pathogenic avian influenza first identified on a farm on the Avalon Peninsula has been found in birds around the St John's area. In a statement from the City of St. John's, officials said Environment Canada had confirmed that influenza H5N1 has been found in wild birds in areas like Bowring Park, Quidi Vidi Lake, and other areas frequented by flocks of birds.

"Like our human flu, it has variants we refer to as highly pathogenic, meaning that they cause illness and death in birds getting infected with them," said Ian Jones, a biology professor at Memorial University.

The city has asked residents not to feed, touch, or handle wild birds, including ducks, pigeons, and gulls.

Cases of H5N1 were first identified on the island around mid-December on an exhibition farm on the island, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Jones said the flu circulates naturally in birds, with higher case numbers in Europe signaling a higher risk for North American poultry flocks. The disease is often found in birds such as chickens, turkeys, quails, and guinea fowl, as well as pet and wild birds.

Philippines: Typhoid Fever

Health officials in Cotabato province have sent a team to help the municipal health office of Pikit town to contain the rising number of typhoid fever cases in one of its remote villages. As of Jan. 4, the North Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) said at least 30 persons have been hospitalized for typhoid fever that hit the village of Manaulanan.

In a statement, Dr. Eva Rabaya, Cotabato provincial health officer, said the 30 patients were all residents of the village that have taken unsafe drinking water since the last week of December. Manaulanan is a remote village with no potable drinking water. Residents rely on commercially available mineral drinking water in gallons or bottles, but the indigents take drinking water from water pumps and open wells.

"No one was reported to have died among the patients," Rabaya said in a radio interview. Quoting a report from the Pikit municipal health office, she said the possible cause of the typhoid fever was the contaminated drinking water that people sourced from open wells and water pumps in the area.

"Many of the patients were children who are now in various hospitals in Pikit," Rabaya said, adding that members of the IPHO sent to the village have brought with them medicine and water purification tablets to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases.