Yemen's cholera case count nearly doubles
According to the latest cholera situation report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 23,000 new suspected cases of the diarrheal disease in Yemen and 242 related deaths since the last update was published Apr 27.
The current case-fatality rate for the outbreak is 1.1%, with most of the new cases occurring in the Amran, Hajjah, and Sana’a governorates and Sana’a city. The WHO said the new cases represent a "significant upsurge," with 210 districts in 18 governorates across the country reporting cases.
Yemen's outbreak began in October of 2016, and so far there have been 49,495 suspected cases, including 362 associated deaths.
The WHO said it has heightened its efforts to fight the outbreak and has established four cholera treatment and 16 oral dehydration centers across Yemen.
May 20 WHO situation report
High-path avian flu outbreaks reported in Egypt, Russia
In the latest avian influenza developments, Egypt reported six more highly pathogenic H5N8 outbreaks, mostly involving backyard poultry, and Russia reported two more outbreaks involving the strain, according to notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Egypt's outbreaks began between Feb 28 and Apr 16, spanning six different governorates. They include Kafr El Sheikh, Al Qahirah, Gharbia, and Qalyubia in the north; Minya in north central Egypt; and New Valley in the southwest. Five of the events involved backyard birds, and the one in New Valley governorate occurred at a farm.
Taken together, the virus killed 120 of 1,344 susceptible birds. The remaining ones were culled to control the spread of the virus. Also, as part of the outbreak response health officials vaccinated about 543,000 poultry in four of the affected governorates: Gharbia, Minya, Qalyubia, and Kafr El Sheikh.
Elsewhere, Russia reported two more H5N8 outbreaks, one in village poultry in Samara oblast and the other affecting backyard birds in Mari El republic, both in the west. Start dates were May 11 and May 17, respectively. Between the two locations, the virus killed 32 of 100 birds, and authorities destroyed the remaining ones.
In other Russian developments, authorities are investigating avian flu–contaminated poultry that has been shipped to at least nine regions, according to statements and media reports flagged by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease news blog. According to the reports, government officials are looking into allegations of falsified veterinary certificates and lab testing irregularities.
May 22 OIE report on H5N1 in Egypt
May 22 OIE report on H5N8 in Russia
May 21 Avian Flu Diary report
PAHO reports slight rise in chikungunya cases from handful of countries
In the latest update on chikungunya cases in the Americas from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), countries reported only 142 new cases, mainly reflecting slight increases in five countries.
The new cases lift the number for 2017 to 48,151, according to the May 19 PAHO report. The weekly number is down from 16,000 new cases reported the previous week, most of which were in Brazil, which accounts for about 90% of the Americas' total this year.
Countries reporting new cases include Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Mexico. Many countries have not reported their chikungunya totals for several weeks, and some haven't reported any for 2017. The number of deaths from the disease this year remained at nine.
Since the chikungunya outbreak began in late 2013 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the virus has sickened at least 2,483,187 people.
May 19 PAHO update