Florida announces sexually transmitted Zika case
The Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) on Nov 3 said a sexually transmitted Zika infection has been confirmed in Miami-Dade County, affecting a person whose partner had recently traveled to several countries, including Cuba, where active transmission is occurring.
In a press release, officials said there is no evidence of ongoing active Zika transmission anywhere in Florida. The patient had no history of travel, and the patient and partner both tested positive for Zika virus.
In response, Florida Health notified mosquito control authorities, who conducted mosquito reduction steps. Officials said the case is a reminder that Zika can transmit sexually and that it is important to take precautions if an individual or his or her partner traveled to an area where the virus is circulating.
The announcement marks Florida's second locally acquired Zika case of the year. In the middle of October, Florida Health said a case had been confirmed in Manatee County, which wasn't one of the areas that reported cases last year. The investigation found a couple had recently traveled to Cuba, with one experiencing Zika symptoms shortly after returning home. Evidence suggested that the infected patient was bitten by a mosquito in or around the home, which passed the virus to the other partner.
Nov 3 Florida Health press release
Oct 12 CIDRAP News scan "Florida announces its first local Zika case of the year"
As Nigeria yellow fever outbreak grows, more vaccine drives planned
In the wake of a yellow fever case confirmed in September in a girl from Nigeria's Kwara state, enhanced surveillance for acute jaundice syndrome has turned up 166 cases, 10 of them fatal, from six states, and tests on half of the cases have resulted in three confirmed cases, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) said in its weekly update on outbreaks and other emergencies.
Among the three confirmed cases, based on plaque reduction neutralization testing (PRNT) at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, two were fatal. Patients are from Kogi and Kwara state. Results from nine other people are still pending.
In the middle of October, Nigeria launched a yellow fever vaccination campaign targeting 874,000 people in Kwara and Kogi states. According to today's update, the campaign achieved 98% coverage. More vaccination campaigns in the affected areas are planned for December.
The WHO said investigators have found suboptimal routine yellow fever vaccine coverage in a number of states. Though the response to the outbreak has been rapid, a full risk assessment for yellow fever transmission is still needed as officials step up surveillance for acute jaundice syndrome and scale up immunization activities.
Nov 6 WHO AFRO weekly bulletin on outbreaks and other emergencies
Burkina Faso battles dengue surge involving multiple subtypes
A dengue fever outbreak in Burkina Faso that began in early August has so far resulted in 6,699 illnesses, 13 of them fatal, the WHO said today in a statement.
The case total quickly passed earlier seasonal outbreaks, and, unlike an outbreak in 2016, several serotypes have been detected. Illnesses have been reported in 12 of the country's 13 health regions, though 64% are in the central region, especially in the city of Ouagadougou, the country's capital.
Of cases reported through Oct 27, virus characterization of 72 samples revealed that 58 were dengue virus type 2, 12 were type 3, and 2 were type 1.
The WHO said the outbreak is occurring against the backdrop of an improved but still limited dengue surveillance system in Burkina Faso and that the weekly number of reported cases is probably an underestimate. It warned that the country's outbreak could involve more severe cases this year, because last year's outbreak involved dengue type 2 only. Repeat illnesses with a different strain are known to carry a higher risk of severe infection. The timing of the outbreak, which is following the rainy season, poses a continued threat of ample mosquito breeding areas, especially in cities.
Burkina Faso has activated its national epidemic management committee, strengthened surveillance, provided free medical care for severely ill people who are treated in hospitals, intensified vector control, and distributed 1,500 long-lasting insecticidal nets to hospitals.
Nov 6 WHO statement
Latest PAHO updates show small increases in chikungunya cases
In the past 5 weeks the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported just 580 new chikungunya infections, bringing the yearly total to 183,530 confirmed, suspected, and imported cases.
Because of the low numbers, CIDRAP News has not reported on the outbreak since PAHO's Sep 29 update, when the agency noted 223 new cases. The week before that (Sep 22), PAHO reported 37,254 new cases, almost all of them in Brazil.
During the most recent weeks, Peru reported the highest increase, with 127 new cases and 1,668 total for the year, according PAHO's Nov 3 update. Colombia was next, with 89 new cases, for a total of 995 so far in 2017. Several other nations reported small increases, including the United States, which has now confirmed 80 imported cases.
A host of nations, however, including Brazil, which has reported more than 90% of this year's total, have not reported on their chikungunya situation for weeks.
Since the outbreak began in 2013 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the Americas region has reported 2,569,661 cases.
Nov 3 PAHO update