News Pouch: 15 May 2017





Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
WHO, 13 May
On 9 May 2017, WHO was informed of a cluster of undiagnosed illness and deaths including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bordering Central African Republic. Since 22 April, nine cases including three deaths have been reported. Six cases are currently hospitalized.

Regional Director travels to Kinshasa to discuss Ebola response
WHO, 13 May
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti today visited Kinshasa (DR Congo) to discuss with national authorities and partners ways to mount a rapid, effective and coherent response in order to stop the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

Ebola-Zaire confirmed in DRC outbreak that killed 3
CIDRAP, 12 May
Epidemiologists and responders are en route to the DRC to assist, and Doctors without Borders is sending an emergency team.

Sustainability of High-Level Isolation Capabilities among US Ebola Treatment Centers
CDC EID, 10 May
To identify barriers to maintaining and applying capabilities of US high-level isolation units (HLIUs) used during the Ebola virus disease outbreak, during 2016 we surveyed HLIUs. HLIUs identified sustainability challenges and reported the highly infectious diseases they would treat. HLIUs expended substantial resources in development but must strategize models of sustainability to maintain readiness.

Ebola Returns in Congo, a Test of 'Next Time'
Foreign Policy, 12 May
In a remote forested region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ebola virus has resurfaced, killing as of this writing three people and putting another six in ...

Ebola vaccine could get first real-world test in emerging outbreak
Nature, 12 May

An outbreak of the Ebola virus has emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said on 12 May. Congolese ...


OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



China reports 23 more H7N9 cases, 7 fatal - Vietnam braces for H7N9 threat - Egypt reports H5N1 case
CIDRAP, 12 May
Reports of new H7N9 avian flu cases in China continued at a steady pace last week, with 23 more cases reported. Many of the new cases are in the north, which has reported a late-season surge, according to an update today from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP).

Viet Nam threatened by new strain of bird flu
Viet Nam News, 12 May
The Prime Minister and ministries of Health and Agriculture and Rural Development are calling for intensive measures to curb the trafficking, trade and consumption of unknown poultry, especially birds smuggled from China, where avian influenza A (H7N9) continues to spread.

Avian Influenza: USDA Has Taken Actions to Reduce Risks but Needs a Plan to Evaluate Its Efforts

USDA, 13 May
Avian influenza is an extremely infectious and potentially fatal disease in poultry. In 2014 and 2016, outbreaks in the U.S. led to the death of more than 50 million chickens, turkeys, and other birds, and cost billions of dollars.

US falling short on bird flu preparation, report finds
CNN, 12 May
(CNN) If an avian influenza pandemic ever hit the United States, there's only one dependable manufacturer in the country capable of making a vaccine, ...



Brazil Announces End of State of Emergency for Zika Virus

The Rio Times, 12 May
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Due to the decrease in the number of Zika cases in the country, Brazil's Ministry of Health announced on Thursday (May 11th) the end of ...

Zika takes root in northern Belize
Amandala, 12 May
BELIZE CITY, Roughly a year ago, Belize confirmed its first case of Zika, an emerging mosquito-borne disease which quickly attained ...

Study Finds Native North American Mosquito Can Transmit Zika
Entomologytoday, 12 May

A study by University of North Dakota researchers shows that the mosquito species Aedes vexans, which is native to North America, can transmit Zika virus.

Acute Zika Emerges as Risk Factor for Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Contagionlive, 12 May
Patients who contract Zika virus could find themselves at risk for developing Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disorder that can lead to bilateral ...



- WHO MERS-CoV Disease Outbreak News full archive here 
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Saudi Arabia and Qatar - 27 April
- WHO: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) maps and epicurves - May 2017
- Saudi Arabia MOH Statistics 
- FAO’s MERS-CoV monthly update


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - Case definition for reporting to OIE
OIE, May 2017
Observed clinical signs of mild respiratory infection (rhinitis in young dromedaries); and Direct epidemiologic link2 with a confirmed human or camel MERS-CoV case; and Testing for MERS-CoV is unavailable, negative or inconclusive4 on a single inadequate specimen3.

Saudi Arabia Statistics - MOH: '1 New Confirmed Corona Cases Recorded'
MOH, 13 May

Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)


Cholera strikes Yemen's Sanaa; state of emergency called

Reuters, 15 May
Cholera has killed at least 115 people in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the local Saba news agency said, after authorities on Sunday declared a state of emergency over the outbreak and called for international help to avert disaster. Sanaa is ...


Humanitarian action in conflicts and in crises
WHO, May 2017
Infographics on famine and health, health systems, emergency health kits

10 Days to go to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
UNISDR, 12 May
The official programme of the Global Platform is now available on line through the following link:

Africa: How to Prevent the Next Global Pandemic
AllAfrica, 15 May
On March 31, 2014, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) declared that an unprecedented Ebola outbreak had hit Guinea, with Liberia registering its first case at the same time....

Learning from the Ebola Response in cities: Communication and engagement
ReliefWeb, 3 May
This paper explores the urban-specific challenges of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa, focusing specifically on community engagement. In doing so, it identifies learning to take forward into future urban public health crises...


Healthier, fairer, safer: the global health journey 2007–2017
WHO, May 2017
This independent report, commissioned by WHO and written by Sir Liam Donaldson, reflects on the trends, achievements and challenges in global health over the past decade during which Dr Margaret Chan has been Director-General of WHO.