News Scan for Jun 16, 2017

Fatal Saudi MERS case
H7N9 infections
Polio in Afghanistan
Cholera in Sudan, Yemen

Saudi Arabia confirms fatal MERS case in Riyadh

Today the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a new case of MERS-CoV related to ongoing outbreaks in three Riyadh hospitals.

A 68-year-old male expatriate who had preexisting disease has died from MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). He acquired the virus as a patient in a hospital.

With the new case reported today, 36 illnesses since Jun 1 have been linked to MERS clusters in three hospitals in Riyadh, the country's largest city. The case raises Saudi Arabia's overall MERS-CoV total since the first human cases were detected in 2012 to 1,643, including 674 deaths. Nineteen people are still being treated for their infections.
Jun 16 MOH report


H7N9 avian flu sickens 5 more in China, 1 fatally

China reported five H7N9 avian flu infections this week, another sign that illnesses are tapering off as the country heads into summer. This week's total is down from 12 cases reported last week.

A regular update from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said the newest cases were reported from Jun 9 to Jun 15 and that one was fatal. All patients are adults, and four of the five are men. Illness onsets range from Apr 25 to Jun 6, and three patients had known exposure to poultry or poultry markets.

The latest cases were in Beijing and four provinces: Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan and Zhejiang.

China is experiencing its fifth and biggest wave of H7N9 activity, which began in October. So far this season the country has reported at least 739 cases, at least 206 of them fatal.
Jun 16 CHP statement


New polio case identified in Afghanistan

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) today reported one new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Afghanistan. This is the fourth case of WPV1 found in Afghanistan this year.

The patient is from Nawzad district in Helmand province, and paralysis began on Apr 16. In addition, the virus was isolated from a healthy household contact of the patient.

Afghanistan is one of three countries, along with Pakistan and Nigeria, to still report circulating WPV1. There is low-level transmission in the common reservoir area of the Quetta-Kandahar corridor, between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan has reported two WPV1 cases in 2017.
Jun 16 GPEI update


Cholera declared epidemic in Sudan; outbreak continues in Yemen

Sudan and Yemen report worsening outbreaks of cholera, according to news reports.

An independent group of researchers in Sudan said that cholera cases have reached epidemic levels after 820 people died from the disease since the start of May, AllAfrica reported on Jun 13.

At least 23,766 people have become sick with watery diarrhea since the beginning of May, according to the National Epidemiological Corporation. Those numbers are much higher than the 15,000 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea, including 279 deaths, the government of Sudan has reported from August of 2016 to this month.

Among the areas battling cholera are El Gedaref and Um Garkur refugee camps.

In Yemen,the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has begun to pay physicians' and nurses' salaries in an effort to retain healthcare workers fighting the country's worst cholera outbreak in history, the New York Times reported yesterday. Doctors and nurses haven't been paid in months, and half of Yemen's hospitals have closed during the past 2 years of conflict.

Since April, nearly 1,000 Yemenis have died from cholera, and the United Nations estimates that half of those victims are children.
Jun 13 AllAfrica story
Jun 15 New York Times

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