News Scan for Sep 02, 2014

Caribbean chikungunya spike
Saudi MERS case
New dengue cases in Japan
; ;

Chikungunya outbreak in Caribbean tops 650,000 cases

With 69,343 new cases, mostly from the Dominican Republic, the chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean reached 658,466 cases last week, according to an Aug 29 update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The jump in cases marks the end of an apparent 2-week slowdown. The region reported only 3,325 and 9,798 new chikungunya cases in the preceding 2 weeks. PAHO's outbreak numbers include both confirmed and suspected cases.

Of the 69,343 new cases, 59,280 were in the Dominican Republic, which now has 429,492 total cases, making it by far the hardest-hit area.

Other areas reporting the most new cases are Martinique, with 3,520 new cases (60,955 total); El Salvador, 2,926 (8,040); Guadeloupe, 2,280 (76,728); French Guiana, 452 (2,206); the French side of St. Martin, 130 (4,783); and St. Barthelemy, 40 (1,042).

As reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week, US cases have reached 696, of which only 6 have been locally acquired, all in Florida.

Also of note: Haiti, which had been an outbreak hot spot, hasn't reported new numbers in 7 weeks. And no new chikungunya-related deaths were reported last week, leaving that number at 37.

PAHO also released an epidemiologic alert for the region concerning chikungunya and dengue fever, asking for nations that are seeing circulation of both diseases to ramp up mosquito-control efforts. The alert also outlined patient care. It cited a slightly higher outbreak total—659,367.
Aug 29 PAHO outbreak update
Aug 29 PAHO epidemiologic alert
Aug 25 CIDRAP News scan "Caribbean chikungunya outbreak continues to slow"


New MERS case raises Saudi count to 726

In recent days Saudi Arabia confirmed one new MERS-CoV case and the death of a previously announced case-patient, raising the country's total cases to 726, according to statements by the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH).

The new case is in a 34-year-old non-Saudi healthcare worker in Jubail in the northeastern part of the country on the Persian Gulf coast, the MOH said in an Aug 29 update. The man is in home isolation. As is characteristic of MOH reports on MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus), no other details were given.

The case is the third reported by the MOH last week, after almost 2 weeks without a MERS case.

The death was in a 69-year-old Saudi national in Dammam, which is about 50 miles down the coast from Jubail. He was not a health worker and had preexisting disease, the MOH said in an Aug 28 statement. On Aug 25 the MOH announced his case, saying the man was in intensive care.

Of the 726 cases, 302 have proved fatal.
Aug 29 MOH statement
Aug 28 MOH statement
Aug 25 MOH statement


Japan's dengue fever outbreak reaches 34 cases

Japan's Health Ministry today announced 12 more cases of dengue fever linked to contact with mosquitoes in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park, bringing the country's outbreak total to 34, according to a report today from The Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper in Japan.

The newest patients are from Tokyo, Osaka, Aomori, and Yamanashi prefectures. As with the other 22 cases, all had visited the park and its vicinity and had not traveled abroad recently. All 12 patients are listed in stable condition.

The outbreak is the first in Japan in about 70 years. Workers have been spraying Yoyogi Park and draining standing water to eradicate mosquitoes, the story said.
Sep 2 Asahi Shimbun story

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