News Scan for Jun 06, 2016

New chikungunya cases
Oropouche fever in Peru

PAHO reports 2,400 new chikungunya cases in the Americas

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) late last week reported 2,446 new chikungunya cases to bring the 2016 total in the Americas to 117,829 cases.

The previous 2 weeks saw increases of 27,505 and 1,184 suspected and confirmed cases, respectively. PAHO updated its numbers on Jun 3.

Honduras reported the most new cases, with 1,174, bringing its total for the year to 9,489. Colombia was next, with 824 new cases and 15,625 total. Many countries, however, have not reported new cases for many weeks.

PAHO reported a new chikungunya-related death, in Nicaragua, raising the number of 2016 fatalities to 16. The other 15 deaths were in Brazil.

The outbreak was first reported in December 2013 on St. Martin in the Caribbean with the first recorded cases of the disease in the Americas. Since then PAHO has reported 1,997,796 suspected or confirmed cases, including 284 deaths.
Jun 3 PAHO update


WHO notes 57 cases of Oropouche fever in Peru

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Jun 3 reported 57 cases of Oropouche fever in an area of Peru that had not previously reported cases of the midge-borne disease, which produces similar symptoms as other arbovirus diseases like Zika, chikungunya, and dengue.

Most of the 57 cases were from town in the Cusco region of Peru, which is in the Amazon rainforest basin and had not reported cases before, the WHO said.

Forty-five of the cases (79%) were detected in January, compared with four (7%) in February and eight (14%) in March. All patients have recovered following symptomatic treatment, and there were no fatalities.

The virus is a member of the Orthobunyavirus genus, along with the La Crosse and Jamestown Canyon viruses, which have been known to cause encephalitis in North America. Oropouche virus is transmitted to humans primarily by the Culicoides paraensis midge, and has caused large outbreaks in the Brazilian Amazon region. It typically causes fairly mild, self-limiting disease that typically includes a fever.

Local authorities are conducting epidemiologic investigations and strengthening vector control in response to the outbreak, the WHO said.

"Given the wide geographical distribution of the competent vector in the Region of the Americas, the risk of cases being identified in other countries is significant," the WHO said.

The agency added, "Given its clinical presentation, Oropouche fever should be included in the clinical differential diagnosis for other common arboviral diseases (e.g., chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, Zika virus)."
Jun 3 WHO statement

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