News Scan for May 29, 2018

MERS case in UAE
Southern Hemisphere flu rise

UAE records first MERS case of 2018 in camel farmer

Health officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded the country's first MERS-CoV case of 2018 in a camel farmer, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported yesterday.

A 78-year-old man from Ghayathi was diagnosed as having MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) on May 13 after presenting with symptoms of the virus at an Abu Dhabi hospital. He is in stable condition. 

According to the WHO, the man recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia and owns a camel farm, which he visits daily. Both travel in Saudi Arabia and camel contact are known risk factors for contracting MERS-CoV. He also has high blood pressure and lung disease.

The WHO has recorded 2,207 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV since 2012, including 787 deaths. The UAE last recorded a case of MERS in December of 2017.
May 28 WHO report


Flu on the rise in some parts of the Southern Hemisphere

As the Southern Hemisphere approaches its winter season, flu activity has increased in some tropical regions of the Americas, as well as in the temperate zones where the pace of infections hasn't yet passed the thresholds in most countries, the WHO said yesterday in its latest global flu update for the week ending May 13.

In Brazil, the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu is still rising, with influenza A viruses predominant. In Chile and Paraguay, flulike illness and severe acute respiratory illness levels are increasing but are still below seasonal thresholds. South Africa marked the start of its flu season in early May, with 2009 H1N1 predominant and activity still at low levels. In the region around Australia and New Zealand, flu is still mainly at interseasonal levels, except for New Caledonia, which has seen a rise in 2009 H1N1 activity.

Other areas seeing increases include Ethiopia, mainly from 2009 H1N1.

In other parts of the world, flu levels were declining, were low, or had returned to interseasonal levels.

Globally, of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu from late April through the middle of May, 58% were influenza A and 42% were influenza B. Of subtyped influenza A viruses, 62.4% were 2009 H1N1 and 37.6% were H3N2. Of characterized influenza B specimens, 85% were the Yamagata lineage.
May 28 WHO global flu update

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