News Pouch: 17 May 2017





Ebola Virus Disease - Democratic Republic of the Congo: External Situation Report 2
WHO, 16 May
As of 16 May 2017, 21 suspected EVD cases including three deaths (case fatality rate of 14.3%) have been reported.

WHO Ebola Virus Disease - Democratic Republic of the Congo: External Situation Report 1
WHO Africa- 15 May 2017
On 11 May 2017, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) notified WHO of an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Ebola in short) in Likati health zone in Bas Uele province located in the northern part of the country.

WHO notes 19 suspected Ebola cases in the DRC
CIDRAP, 16 May
A WHO spokesman said ring vaccination would be the recommended approach "if pertinent."

WHO prepares experimental Ebola vaccine for possible first use in Democratic Republic of Congo
STAT, 16 May
he World Health Organization and outside experts are making arrangements to send an experimental Ebola vaccine to the Democratic Republic of Congo, should officials there say they need it to quell an outbreak 1 there. The DRC has not yet formally ...

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention activates the Emergency Operational Centre to monitor the Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo Team of experts on standby for deployment to respond to the emergency
Africa CDC, 15 May

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday activated the Emergency Operational Centre to monitor the Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and developed a concept of operations for the emergency.

Essential information: Uncertainty and optimal control of Ebola
PNAS, 15 May
Essential information: Uncertainty and optimal control of Ebola outbreaks ... Abstract. Early resolution of uncertainty during an epidemic ...

Ebola once again on the prowl as emergency teams stand ready
New Scientist, 16 May
Ebola has broken out again. This time it is in the jungles of central Africa, where populations are small and scattered, and people know about the Ebola virus. That means the risk of a massive outbreak like the one in West Africa in 2014 is low ...

Undetected Ebola infection in international healthcare workers very unlikely
EurekAlert, 16 May
Undiagnosed Ebola virus infection was probably very rare in international workers who were deployed during the 2013-2015 outbreak of the virus in West Africa, ...

Statement by Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and EU Ebola Coordinator Christos Stylianides on the Ebola outbreak in the Northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo...
ReliefWeb, 15 May
Following the declaration of an Ebola outbreak in the Northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the EU is fully committed to provide all support necessary.


OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



CIDRAP Flu Scan - 16 May

  • China reports second H9N2 case of the year
  • Phase 2 trial show promise for immune plasma in treating severe flu
  • Flu starts to pick up in Southern Hemisphere


H5N1 strikes more backyard birds in Vietnam
CIDRAP, 15 May
In the latest avian flu developments, Vietnam reported more highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks, and Russia and South Korea reported new H5N8 detections in poultry farms that affected 2.5 million birds, according to notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

HK CHP Avian Flu Report Week 19
Avian Flu Diary, 16 May

Avian Influenza Report is a weekly report produced by the Respiratory Disease Office, Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health. This report highlights global avian influenza activity in humans and birds.

First Case of Human Contracting Bird Flu Registered in China's Shanxi Province
Sputnik International, 17 May
The first case of a human contracting the H7N9 strain of avian influenza has been registered in China's northern province of Shanxi, local media reported ...


US: USDA has made progress in protecting against avian influenza, evaluation still needed
Homeland Preparedness News, 16 May
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken numerous steps to reduce the risk of avian influenza, but needs a plan to evaluate its efforts going forward, ...

Review of Influenza Season 2016-2017 in the EU/EEA: Severe Season with A(H3N2) Dominance
ECDC, 12 May
The influenza season 2016-2017 has now come to an end in Europe. In week 17/2017, all EU/EEA countries reported low influenza activity and the positivity rate (proportion of influenza virus positives among all tested specimens) falling below the 10% benchmark to 9.9%.



Outcomes of Pregnancies with Laboratory Evidence of Possible Zika

CDC, 15 May

Outcomes for Completed Pregnancies in the US States and District of Columbia, 2016-2017

Urine test could detect Zika virus quickly, protect unborn babies
Science Daily, 15 May

There is no vaccine. No medication. And, no quick, reliable test for Zika virus … until now. Babies born with the virus often have lifelong, devastating birth defects...



- 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


Three hospital-related MERS cases in Saudi Arabia
CIDRAP, 15 May
Over the weekend and through today, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) reported four more MERS-CoV cases, including two linked to possible healthcare exposures.


Cholera death toll in Yemen reaches at least 180: Red Cross
Reuters, 15 May
ADEN/DUBAI Cholera has killed at least 180 people in Yemen in recent weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday, a day ...


State of emergency in Yemen's capital as cholera kills 115 people
The Guardian, 15 May
Yemeni children wear masks as they visit their cholera-infected mother at a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen. Only a few of the country's medical facilities are still ...


Cholera Outbreak Compounds Hunger Crisis in Southern Somalia
Voice of America, 17 May
A regional drought has displaced over half a million people in Somalia and left the country at risk of famine. A cholera outbreak is further complicating relief ...

How El Niño forecasts can prevent cholera deaths in Africa
Medical Xpress, 15 May
In a recent study, our group sought to understand how weather changes caused by El Niño impact cholera risk in Africa, where most cholera deaths occur. El Niño events can now be forecast as much as a year in advance, so knowing this relationship may help forecast where cholera outbreaks are most likely to occur.

Brazil's outbreak yellow fever virus has mutated significantly
CIDRAP, 16 May
The yellow fever virus that has caused a large outbreak in Brazil has undergone substantial mutations, but these changes should not affect vaccine effectiveness, Brazilian investigators said, according to a story today in Brazil's O Globo newspaper.

PAHO reports 16,000 new chikungunya cases, mostly in Brazil
CIDRAP, 15 May
Countries in the Americas reported 16,436 new chikungunya infections, led almost entirely by new cases in Brazil, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported late last week.

An end to pandemics is within reach, but we must redouble efforts now
STAT, 15 May
An explosive global proliferation of avian influenza has prompted massive containment efforts spanning the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. More than 35 ..



Report outlines priorities for US global health role
CIDRAP, 15 May
Recommendations take aim at preparing for global health threats while maximizing returns.

David Nabarro is the UK candidate to become the next director general of the World Health Organisation. After four decades working as a community-based practitioner, public servant and diplomat on the international scene, he is ready to address the most pressing global health challenges of our time.