Pandemic News Updates

Pandemic News Updates

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  • Influenza A(H1N2) variant virus – Brazil
    on January 4, 2021 at 12:00 am

    On 15 December 2020, the Brazil Ministry of Health reported the second confirmed human infection with influenza A(H1N2) variant virus [A(H1N2)v] in Brazil in 2020.

  • Cholera – Togo
    on January 4, 2021 at 12:00 am

    From 11 November to 28 December, 2020 a total of 67 suspected cholera cases presenting with diarrhea and vomiting, including two deaths a case fatality ratio (CFR: 3%) were reported from the municipalities “Golfe 1” and “Golfe 6” in Lomé, Togo. A total of four health areas (Katanga, Adakpamé, Gbétsogbé in Golfe 1, and Kangnikopé in Golfe 6) in the affected municipalities reported at least one case. On 17 November, cholera was confirmed by culture in the laboratory of the National Institute of Hygiene (INH) in Lomé, Togo and WHO was informed. On 19 November, the Minister of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Access to Care of Togo issued a press release declaring a cholera outbreak and on 24 November WHO was officially notified. From 11 November to 28 December 2020, a total of 17 out of 41 stool samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype Ogawa by culture in the National Institute of Hygiene (INH) in Lomé, Togo.

  • SARS-CoV-2 Variants
    on December 31, 2020 at 12:00 am

    SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has had a major impact on human health globally; infecting a large number of people; causing severe disease and associated long-term health sequelae; resulting in death and excess mortality, especially among older and vulnerable populations; interrupting routine healthcare services; disruptions to travel, trade, education and many other societal functions; and more broadly having a negative impact on peoples physical and mental health. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has received several reports of unusual public health events possibly due to variants of SARS-CoV-2. WHO routinely assesses if variants of SARS-CoV-2 result in changes in transmissibility, clinical presentation and severity, or if they impact on countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Previous reports of the D614G mutation and the recent reports of virus variants from the Kingdom of Denmark, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of South Africa have raised interest and concern in the impact of viral changes. A variant of SARS-CoV-2 with a D614G substitution in the gene encoding the spike protein emerged in late January or early February 2020. Over a period of several months, the D614G mutation replaced the initial SARS-CoV-2 strain identified in China and by June 2020 became the dominant form of the virus circulating globally. Studies in human respiratory cells and in animal models demonstrated that compared to the initial virus strain, the strain with the D614G substitution has increased infectivity and transmission. The SARS-CoV-2 virus with the D614G substitution does not cause more severe illness or alter the effectiveness of existing laboratory diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, or public health preventive measures.

  • Yellow fever – Senegal
    on December 29, 2020 at 12:00 am

    From October to December 2020, a total of seven confirmed cases of yellow fever (YF) have been reported from four health districts in three regions in Senegal.

  • Yellow fever – Guinea
    on December 23, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Between 6 November and 15 December 2020, 52 suspected cases of yellow fever (YF), including 14

  • SARS-CoV-2 Variant – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    on December 21, 2020 at 12:00 am

    On 14 December 2020, authorities of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reported to WHO that a new SARS-CoV-2 variant was identified through viral genomic sequencing. This variant is referred to as SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation, year 2020, month 12, variant 01).

  • SARS-CoV-2 mink-associated variant strain – Denmark
    on December 3, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Since June 2020, Danish authorities have reported an extensive spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on mink farms in Denmark.

  • Acute hepatitis E – Burkina Faso
    on November 27, 2020 at 1:37 am

    Between 8 September and 24 November, 2020, the North-Central region of Burkina Faso reported a

  • Yellow fever – Nigeria
    on November 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Reports of a cluster of deaths from an undiagnosed disease were notified on 1 November 2020 through Event Based Surveillance in two states, Delta and Enugu, located in southern Nigeria.

  • Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
    on November 18, 2020 at 12:00 am

    On 18 November 2020, the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Equateur Province.

  • Avian Influenza A(H5N1)- Lao People's Democratic Republic
    on November 17, 2020 at 12:00 am

    The Ministry of Health in Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) reported a human case of infection with an avian influenza A(H5N1) virus. The case is a one-year-old female who developed symptoms of fever, productive cough, difficulty breathing and runny nose on 13 October 2020. She was hospitalized for her illness on 16 October and discharged on 19 October. As part of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) sentinel surveillance, a specimen was collected on the date of hospitalization and confirmed to be positive for avian influenza A(H5N1) on 28 October by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE). Among the close contacts of the patient, one contact developed fever and cough after the onset of illness in the case. Specimens collected from all household contacts, including the symptomatic contact, were negative for influenza A viruses.

  • Rift Valley Fever – Mauritania
    on November 13, 2020 at 12:00 am

    The Ministry of Health (MoH) notified WHO that between 13 September and 1 October 2020, eight cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) including seven deaths were confirmed in animal breeders. Districts affected include Tidjikja and Moudjéria (Tagant region), Guerou (Assaba region) and Chinguetty (Adrar region). Laboratory confirmation of RVF infection was performed using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the National Institute for Public Health Research (INRSP) in Nouakchott. The age of infected patients varied between 16 and 70 years old and included one woman and seven men. All seven deaths occurred among hospitalised patients with fever and haemorrhagic syndrome (petechia, gingivorrhagia) and vomiting. Between 4 September and 7 November 2020, a total of 214 people were sampled and their samples have been sent to the INRSP for laboratory testing with a total of 75 testing positive for RVF (RT-PCR and serology by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Positive cases have been reported in 11 of 15 regions of the country: Brakna, Trarza, Gorgol, (on the border with Senegal), Adrar, Assaba, Hodh El Gharby, Hodh El Chargui, Guidimaka (on the border with Mali) and Nouakchott Sud, Nouakchott Ouest and Tagant. The Tagant region is the most affected (38/75, 51%) with principal hotspot districts being Tidjikja and Moudjeria. Thus far a total of 25 deaths have been reported from this outbreak.

  • SARS-CoV-2 mink-associated variant strain – Denmark
    on November 6, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Since June 2020, 214 human cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Denmark with SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with farmed minks, including 12 cases with a unique variant, reported on 5 November.

  • Mayaro virus disease - French Guiana, France
    on October 24, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    On 13 October 2020, the French health authorities officially reported 13 laboratory-confirmed cases of Mayaro fever in French Guiana, France. In September 2020, the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane (IPG) (member of the French National Reference Laboratory for arboviruses) identified two cases of Mayaro virus infection (MAYV) confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and one probable case found positive for Mayaro antibodies. The case-patients presented dengue-like symptoms and joint pains, and tested negative for dengue by RT-PCR.

  • Oropouche virus disease - French Guiana, France
    on October 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    On 30 September 2020, the French Guiana Regional Health Agency (ARS) reported the first detection of Oropouche virus (OROV) in French Guiana. On 22 September 2020 the Pasteur Institute in Cayenne (a member of the French National Reference Laboratory for arboviruses) notified the France IHR National Focal Point of seven laboratory-confirmed cases of Oropouche virus infection in the village of Saül. These cases were identified following clinical investigations of an unusually high number of dengue-like illnesses in the village. Between 11 August and 25 September, there were 37 clinically-compatible cases of Oropouche virus disease identified in Saül. The results of serology for dengue, chikungunya, and Zika were negative, and seven of nine cases tested positive for OROV by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Among the 37 clinically-compatible cases, most cases are male (60%) and the median age is 36 years (range 3-82 years). The most represented age range is 15 to 54-years-old (19 cases) followed by 0 to 14-years-old (10 cases). A peak of cases was observed in mid-September however, the outbreak investigation remains ongoing.

  • Monkeypox – Democratic Republic of the Congo
    on October 1, 2020 at 12:00 am

    From 1 January through 13 September 2020, a total of 4,594 suspected cases of monkeypox, including 171 deaths (case fatality ratio 3.7%), have been reported in 127 health zones from 17 out of 26 provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The first epidemic peak was observed at the beginning of March 2020 (epi week 10), with 136 cases reported weekly (Figure1). From 1 January through 7 August, the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) received 80 samples from suspected cases of monkeypox, of which 39 samples were confirmed positive by polymerase chain reaction. Four out of the 80 specimens were skin lesions (crusts/vesicles), the remaining samples were blood. There is no further information at this time regarding the outcome of these 80 patients whose samples were tested. Confirmatory testing remains ongoing. During the same period in 2019, 3,794 suspected cases and 73 deaths (CFR 1.9%) were reported in 120 health zones from 16 provinces while a total of 2,850 suspected cases (CFR 2.1%) were reported in 2018.

  • Chikungunya – Chad
    on September 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

    On 28 August 2020, the National IHR Focal Point of Chad notified WHO of an outbreak of chikungunya in Abéché, eastern Chad.

  • Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
    on September 3, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Three months after the declaration of the eleventh Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the number of confirmed cases continues to increase, and the geographic spread of the outbreak continues to expand. As of 1 September 2020, 110 cases (104 confirmed and six probable) including 47 deaths (case fatality ratio 43%) have been reported from 36 health areas in 11 health zones. In the past 21 days (12 August – 1 September 2020), 24 confirmed cases have been reported in 15 health areas across eight health zones. To date, three healthcare workers have been affected, making up 3% of all cases. In addition, 48 people have recovered from EVD to date.

  • Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – Sudan
    on September 1, 2020 at 12:00 am

    On 9 August 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health, Sudan notified WHO of the detection of a

  • Yellow fever – French Guiana, France
    on August 1, 2020 at 12:00 am

    On 23 July 2020, the France IHR National Focal Point reported a confirmed autochthonous (locally acquired) case of yellow fever in a 14-year-old male in French Guiana. On 17 July 2020, the case was laboratory confirmed at the French National Reference Centre for arboviruses, Institute Pasteur Cayenne. The case-patient had severe disability, and developed dengue-like symptoms on 12 July. On 16 July, he was hospitalized in an intensive care unit in Cayenne, French Guiana, with consciousness disorders and acute liver failure, and died on 19 July.

 

 

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